Open source stuff does come with a folder labelled "Install" that needs copying over ...but think you need to update it the usual method, it works as is but it was at Update 7.1 I think which is where I seem to recall Lee reverting back to possibly because that was last stage they felt it needed to go back to possibly because he feels that's where things started going wrong - so as he could redo FPSC/Reloaded properly as GameGuru. You can still find updates around such as U7.7
beta posts on the forum as well as earlier betas with last working versions at bottom of 1st posts.
You might as well therefore install as normal and add updates...but you will definately need the certificates folder from the open source "Install" folder as activation method no longer works.
Ortu did provide his own framework for DBP dev with a portable copy upgraded to U7.6 within that framework. Just search his profile threads.
Fairly sure Kuper also provided the downloads for various plugins as well as DBP and U7.6.
I think they both stopped at 7.6 as 7.7 broke DarkDynamics although 7.7 did provide a major fix(first on list of beta threads details of fixes).
As for 9Ex, it is still in dev so could be many issues not yet discovered due to not so many of us left to test it. That said all projects I have all seem to work no issues so far, I have had it on back burner for a while as I wish to complete some stuff I started using 7.7. I fully intend on switching to 9Ex at some point. I have it installed alongside reg DBP so best to have both anyway! Big thanks to Rudolpho for this work as well as his dx11 plugin he is working on. Pretty sure WickedX has his own version which I think originated from when it was made available on Google code if ever you wanted a different route to go, although I do not recall if he made it available or not.
You should know by now nothing is ever straight forward with DBP versions hahaha! But yeah for "easiest" probably Ortu's portable version. That said as I know you are very experienced it is nothing more than a few steps beyond DL'ing whatever version to go any other route - but you will need that certificates folder from open source version on Github especially if you want licensed plugins as they are all in that folder.
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