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Author Topic: What's your preference on keeping versions up-to-date ?  (Read 18020 times)

dro

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What's your preference on keeping versions up-to-date ?
« on: January 19, 2017, 05:22:18 PM »
One of the pains that Winamp had was too many keeping using older versions instead of wanting / being able to use newer versions.

Now as we know the WACUP beta builds expire after a time (which is being refined over the builds released so far) as a means to keep active use on the current builds to minimise support burden (e.g. not having to re-test multiple versions).

From the beta sub-forum thread about the expiration issue, one thing that has come up which I'm really not sure about and that's whether for eventual release builds if a similar thing would be acceptable (e.g. when a newer release build comes out, should it effectively push the new version to be used in some manner) or is it best to accept a fragmented user base as the norm and leave the control of updating in the user's hands so as not to be evil ?

Thoughts and suggestions below please. As I think for beta builds it's ok to have them expire, but for release builds it makes me feel uneasy.

-dro
« Last Edit: January 19, 2017, 05:35:49 PM by dro »

synthetiq

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Re: What's your preference on keeping versions up-to-date ?
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2017, 06:02:26 PM »
Well ... for instance I like my Firefox auto-update feature...
Would like to see that on Winamp too  8)
Based in Lisbon/Portugal

Pawel

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Re: What's your preference on keeping versions up-to-date ?
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2017, 06:29:09 PM »
DrO,

In my opinion there should be some updater application for WACUP.
Updater should by default check for update on each run of Winamp. There must be option to disable update check. There should be some options that allows to set how often should Updater check for new versions (every run, every day, on each 10 days etc)
For sure - user should decide. WACUP with expiration builds is a very bad idea (for beta is OK)

-Pawel

[edit - dro]
fixed some odd formatting in the message

Juanus

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Re: What's your preference on keeping versions up-to-date ?
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2017, 07:43:55 PM »
I am also a fan of auto updates. It works like this on our phones now and it doesn't seem to be a problem.
Personally I get annoyed when someone asks for a feature or is wondering why something is crashing and the problem could have been solved by updating to the latest version. I would definitely be a fan of builds that expire or get disabled when the new build comes out. (This is assuming that you don't have to pay for the upgrade. If you have to pay for the upgrade, then it is evil!)

MarkRH

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Re: What's your preference on keeping versions up-to-date ?
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2017, 11:39:15 PM »
Well, I'm a software update control freak I guess. I opt out of all auto updates. (Windows, Browsers, Flash, WordPress, etc, etc.). 

Now, I do routinely check for updates (installed several Windows Updates today) and install them when I am ready to deal with the consequences and it gives me time to backup things before hand.

I am fine with something saying that an update is available, but I want to say when it actually installs that update.

I think the auto-update stuff is really meant those people that never bother to check for updates on their own.  I am OK with an auto update being the default. I just want to be aware of that fact and able to turn it off.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2017, 11:41:19 PM by MarkRH »

Juanus

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Re: What's your preference on keeping versions up-to-date ?
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2017, 03:18:10 AM »

I would love for it to notify you when a new version is released
then you have two weeks to update
if you don't update in that two weeks, then the version you are using is disabled.

Pawel

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Re: What's your preference on keeping versions up-to-date ?
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2017, 09:04:09 AM »
if you don't update in that two weeks, then the version you are using is disabled.


Very bad idea!
New version is not always the best option for user. There may be resons that user stick with specified version.
So, never, never decide for user!


Maybe you just could built-in some mechanism that check if WACUP is updated or not - if not - user can not sent error feedback - instead he will be asked for installation new version.
-Pawel

Juanus

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Re: What's your preference on keeping versions up-to-date ?
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2017, 02:22:38 PM »
if you don't update in that two weeks, then the version you are using is disabled.


Very bad idea!

I'm full of bad ideas. It's my trademark.

victhor

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Re: What's your preference on keeping versions up-to-date ?
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2017, 02:49:57 PM »
Is a tricky one... my preferences would be:
- No auto update without user's consent (but it could have an option to set it like that)
- No expire date (as Pawel said: "There may be resons that user stick with specified version") * .
- Do warn there is another version when it comes out and / or at certain periods of time (every 2 o 3 weeks, etc -with option to turn this warn off-).


* Besides, giving the option to the user to update or stay (because of x issue implemented by a newer version), can leverage the developer of having to consider a EVERY POSSIBLE scenario and focus on the most important issues / bugs.

dro

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Re: What's your preference on keeping versions up-to-date ?
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2017, 05:40:17 PM »
Am going to give some quick replies to the points raised so far (thanks for what has been mentioned / commented on!).

Will provide a more formal response / proposal when there's a bit more feedback and I've let the common things settle out :)

Well ... for instance I like my Firefox auto-update feature...
Would like to see that on Winamp too  8)
That was the first suggestion by QOAL via twitter and effectively going with more of an app style update setup.

My only concern about going that route is the need to either have another dedicated program / service (as in the cases of Firefox, Chrome) and then trying to ensure that it doesn't cause any issues (especially if setup as a background service which part of me finds a bit excessive for a media player).

-dro

dro

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Re: What's your preference on keeping versions up-to-date ?
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2017, 05:52:27 PM »
In my opinion there should be some updater application for WACUP.
Updater should by default check for update on each run of Winamp. There must be option to disable update check. There should be some options that allows to set how often should Updater check for new versions (every run, every day, on each 10 days etc)
For sure - user should decide. WACUP with expiration builds is a very bad idea (for beta is OK)
Ok so have whatever the update mechanism is enabled by default and make it so it's easy enough to disable (which seems the right way to go anyway).

The frequency of doing update checking probably should be slightly less frequent than say on every start-up attempt / once a day. As even if it's done threaded, it still introduces some overhead that isn't needed most of the time. So more like once every fre days / a week is more likely a reasonable starting point as the release builds aren't likely to come out daily (though that would be amusing to emulate that aspect of the 2.x development days when everyone complained about too frequent updates).

The expiration aspect in a release build also didn't sit right with me hence the need to see what others think. Though I get why it's appealing as keeping old builds around also has it's own issues (which I think will be addressed a bit more in a reply to one of the later posts).

-dro

dro

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Re: What's your preference on keeping versions up-to-date ?
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2017, 06:17:59 PM »
I am also a fan of auto updates. It works like this on our phones now and it doesn't seem to be a problem.
Personally I get annoyed when someone asks for a feature or is wondering why something is crashing and the problem could have been solved by updating to the latest version. I would definitely be a fan of builds that expire or get disabled when the new build comes out. (This is assuming that you don't have to pay for the upgrade. If you have to pay for the upgrade, then it is evil!)
The mobile / app model is relatively easy to emulate by getting an update only installer and just running that. The main issue then is how to handle when new parts are added i.e. just install or require the user to manually get involved (be that a setting or default so as to not be 'evil' in just installing whatever which if you want to keep the install under control would be needed).

The main issue with expiration of builds is what happens if the new version is less stable compared to the prior version? As I've thought a bit about this with the beta builds and the changes for it's handling of expiration (so I can if needed fiddle things to make a prior build still work if the current beta ends up being bad). But then I really need to improve my processes so that I'm doing more rolling updates if there are key things that need to be fixed (e.g. I should have just done a newer installer with the fixed gen_undo / gen_classic but then I'd not expected other things to happen that distracted me).

With betas it's more ok to have them expire so that things are moving forward but for release builds (where there's a greater expectation of it just working ok) then it probably doesn't fit right (however much I'd like and agree with keeping a user base to a recent version of the software). As I'm not sure it'd even make sense to say allow for all v1.0x to work and then when a v1.1x comes out for that to eventually led to those v1.0x to expire (as v1.1x may not fit needs and instead just puts people off the software as a whole).

What people don't like paying for updates? Aww and there I was hoping to use that as an income model, heh (am joking however tempting it would be ;) ).

-dro

dro

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Re: What's your preference on keeping versions up-to-date ?
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2017, 06:24:04 PM »
Well, I'm a software update control freak I guess. I opt out of all auto updates. (Windows, Browsers, Flash, WordPress, etc, etc.). 

Now, I do routinely check for updates (installed several Windows Updates today) and install them when I am ready to deal with the consequences and it gives me time to backup things before hand.

I am fine with something saying that an update is available, but I want to say when it actually installs that update.

I think the auto-update stuff is really meant those people that never bother to check for updates on their own.  I am OK with an auto update being the default. I just want to be aware of that fact and able to turn it off.
I was always intending having a means to opt-out, it's whether things should be on by default and then where to make it obvious that updating can be opted out off (i.e. just via preferences or during the setup process as a whole).

This is why I'm asking as just from a few posts it's clear that there's a difference in view point when it comes to updates (from just update automatically to wanting manual control over when an update happens). As I get wanting to have control from a user view point as I do it a lot myself, though from the developer view point, having everyone on the same thing (or as near to) makes life so much easier from a support / development view point. Thus the need to work out what's the best balance between my ideal needs and those who want to use WACUP.

So the main thing I'm taking from your comments is updating is ok as long as there's a decent way to opt-out as needed but it's still ok to indicate a newer version (but without it being too naggy).

-dro

dro

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Re: What's your preference on keeping versions up-to-date ?
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2017, 06:35:08 PM »
Will treat these together...
I would love for it to notify you when a new version is released
then you have two weeks to update
if you don't update in that two weeks, then the version you are using is disabled.
Very bad idea!
New version is not always the best option for user. There may be resons that user stick with specified version.
So, never, never decide for user!

Maybe you just could built-in some mechanism that check if WACUP is updated or not - if not - user can not sent error feedback - instead he will be asked for installation new version.
I mainly agree with Pawel on the point raised as even if I do my best bugs can and do creep in which often don't show up for a while. So in that case it's generally going to be better to not expire (as covered in some of the earlier replies).

I get why it makes sense to expire (as done for the betas) but I think those more willing to use beta versions are more forgiving compared to those who will only ever use a release build (even if it's the same thing with just a high level of certainty that it should work ok). I used to see the same when working on the SC DNAS where some wouldn't touch the build if it was described as beta but with that same compiled version put out under a release moniker would then use it (and it was the exact same file in some cases).

As for the part about not deciding for the user, that has to happen to an extent based on what the default updating options end up being. Hence why I'm asking now before even implementing anything so as to hopefully get those defaults correct whilst accommodating what others may need (like with the means to opt-out but still get notified even if the update isn't auto-downloaded / applied as such).

The final point by Pawel about blocking feedback is an interesting idea but that does somewhat seem a bit evil. If anything I'd prefer to receive error feedback and then send a reply back to say to update but by getting that error feedback it means if it's something new then it could still be fixed for a newer version. The main issue then is about people not responding to such messages (sadly saw that too often with the Winamp betas - especially those on ancient public betas - which is why I want to try as best as possible to prevent a similar scenario when it comes to WACUP usage).

-dro

dro

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Re: What's your preference on keeping versions up-to-date ?
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2017, 06:38:02 PM »
I'm full of bad ideas. It's my trademark.
They're not bad as you've explained things and those reasons make sense based on your needs / requirements. The main thing I'm taking is a lot of good comments in general in the responses along with explaining why it could be the way to go rather than just "do it this way" and leaving it as that.

-dro