Proposal Update Checking

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Revision as of 11:36, 10 January 2010 by James (talk | contribs) (Added header)
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Proposal pages help us get from feature requests into actual plans. This page is a proposal for checking for newer versions of Audacity.
Proposal pages are used on an ongoing basis by the Audacity development team and are open to edits from visitors to the wiki. They are a good way to get community feedback on a proposal.


  • Note: Proposals for Google Summer of Code projects are significantly different in structure, are submitted via Google's web app and may or may not have a corresponding proposal page.


Proposed Feature

  • Check for Audacity updates.
  • When a user clicks on a menu item
  • Possibly periodically e.g. if haven't checked in the last week.
  • Possibly download updated version in the background and install
  • Options/Preferences for user to control this functionality.


Developer Backing


Use Cases

  • Users using an old version of Audacity, not realising there is a newer version available that has bugfixes and new functionality.


Details

Audacity does not currently have an automated update checking mechanism.

  • Users can subscribe to audacity-announce and learn of new versions in their e-mail.
  • We can maintain a page on the manual wiki that describes the current versions. Users could then follow a link in the manual (or from a menu item) to that page to check it and read the details in a browser window.

We have no plans to actually automate update of audacity. That introduces too many security concerns and possible issues with testing scenarios for what is a small development team to address. Applications like Firefox and Thunderbird which are already TCP/IP enabled have automated updates in them in part to be able to address exploits rapidly. We're not keen on having TCP/IP functionality in core Audacity for a number of reasons. It potentially opens Audacity up to remote exploits.

As of 4th Dec 2009 some discussion and prototyping of an update checking menu item is taking place on audacity-devel. It is believed that this menu item will encourage more people to update to newer versions of Audacity sooner. However, there are details such as whether and how often to check and when to announce a new version to a user which still need to be defined. On Linux it seems clear that updates through distribution, e.g. Ubuntu update manager, are the right way to go and that we should work more closely with those distributions. This would likely be a windows only feature, and one that users would explicitly need to enable.

Proof of Concept

See talk page for linux version screenshot and discussion.

CheckOnlineVersion1.png