Though this post is no longer related directory to CDE, after reading up on the methods that are used in making portable apps, I have made some headway on how to take existing apps and making a self contained app out of it. CDE does a good job of gathering most if not all of what an app needs to run, and then some adjustments can be made to the binaries to make them look into relative instead of hard coded paths. Thus being able to be unpacked anywhere and run.
There is a prototype emelfm2 named emelfm2-portable.tar.gz in the scm source area that should run when unpacked into any location. Run the emelfm2.sh in the top directory, should work with 'base norestore'.
Though scm's don't need to be truly portable, if one wants to be able to make a standard app plus dependencies into an scm, then the portable part has to happen. portablelinuxapps.org and it's documentation has been very helpful. I prefer myself to make a true scm compiled into /apps, but maybe a method can arise to allow make a self contained package out of what has already been built.