Method 1 is the traditional DOS way of installing software.

Maybe some advanced usage of JOIN & SUBST is what you are looking for?

Another alternative (though slightly messy) would be to combine
Methods 1 & 4.  By that, I mean, leave the *.bats in C:\DOS.  The
*.bats will temporarily create a new Environment & PATH extended as
the application expects and then remove the adjustment.  This will
slow down many types of computing, as HPA mentioned, SW builds come to


On Tue, Nov 29, 2016 at 2:54 PM, Mateusz Viste <> wrote:
> On Tue, 29 Nov 2016 13:02:59 -0800, H. Peter Anvin wrote:
>> But why the batch file in the first place?  It truly makes no sense: it
>> pollutes the namespace equally, and can just cause problems (e.g. in the
>> case of more than 9 arguments.)  Not to mention slowing down a make.
> Here's the thing: I, as a user, store lots of useful software on my PC.
> Many of these programs are so useful that I like to have them available
> immediately from anywhere: ZIP, UNZIP, UNRAR, UPX, NASM, TCC, OPTIPNG,
> QV, MPXPLAY, UHEX, GOPHERUS, LAME... the list goes on and on.
> To achieve this, I know of four ways. Each comes with some limitations.
> Method 1: Store every program in its own directory, and add each
> directory to the %PATH%. Problem: obviously the environment will get very
> bloated, very fast. Besides, some programs come with add-on tools that I
> do not want to be available from within my path.
> Method 2: Trim out the programs from everything besides a single exe, and
> put them all in a single directory declared in my %PATH%. But this poses
> two problems that I cannot live with: first, not every program can be
> trimmed out to a single executable file (data files, config files, etc),
> and second - almost all programs come with their respective README files
> and other valuable documentation that I really want to keep within the
> vicinity of the executable (ie. in the same directory).
> Method 3: Store each tool in its own directory, and place a COPY of its
> executable inside a directory in the %PATH%. Well, this is just messy -
> upgrading the program needs to think about replacing the executable each
> time in both places, and it's simply a waste of disk space.
> Method 4: Keep each program in its own directory with all its original
> files, and only store *.bat "links" in a single directory somewhere in
> the PATH. This mitigates the troubles of methods 1 and 2, at the cost,
> unfortunately, of *.bat's own limitations (max 9 args and '=' processing
> weirdness).
> The method 4 is what I started doing back in the nineties, and as of
> today I still didn't find a better (or let's say, less worse) way. That's
> a lifetime project it would seem.
> The method 4 is also something that I implemented last year inside FDNPKG
> (the FreeDOS package manager), but since I discovered recently how oddly
> the '=' character is processed in %1-like arguments (there's a separate
> thread about that on freedos-devel), I will have to figure out some
> improved method... first thought pointed to computing some COM loader
> relying on INT21,4Bh but that's far less trivial than the current batch
> method, and hobby time is scarce.
> Mateusz
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