[No (hopefully)] Auto-Update

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Postby QBasicer » Sat Mar 26, 2005 6:15 pm

Jesus, I guess I'll have to implement it myself.
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Postby Graf Zahl » Sat Mar 26, 2005 6:16 pm

Good luck! ;)

Implementing this into ZDoom is probably the smallest issue. But without a server this whole idea is worthless.
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Postby QBasicer » Sat Mar 26, 2005 6:17 pm

I have a server I could use.

The easiest part will be downloading and reading the update. The hardest is making the pop-up.
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Postby Graf Zahl » Sat Mar 26, 2005 6:36 pm

I still doubt that Randy is interested. 'Features' like this scare more people away than they attract. Let's be honest: Auto-updating is something that costs money. More than you imagine. It's not like there might be a few 100 requests per day. I have no idea about the user base of ZDoom but it wouldn't surprise me if the server got several thousands of requests per day - most likely several per user per day. A mapper can easily start the game a hundred times a day to test stuff.

And even the small amuonts of data for a simple verification can easily add up to something that some hobby programmer can not afford just to please a handful of people - and I think that you can't afford it as well.
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Postby Bio Hazard » Sat Mar 26, 2005 7:26 pm

charris wrote:The hardest is making the pop-up.

what do you mean "pop-up"? like a message box?
Code: Select allExpand view
if(MessageBox(NULL,"There is a new version of ZDoom available, Should I download it?","New version available",MB_YESNO|MB_ICONQUESTION)==6){GetUpdate();}else{}


Maybe this should be made into a seperate program? after all. if ZDoom.exe is running and the update function tries to update ZDoom.exe, it would fail cause the file is already in use wouldnt it?

then you wouldnt have to check evry time ZDoom runs and you wouldnt need to worry about ZDoom code bloat or anything like that. then Charris would be happy and Graf would be slightly less annoying. Win-Win
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Postby Xaser » Sat Mar 26, 2005 8:26 pm

Bio Hazard wrote:
Code: Select allExpand view
...MB_YESNO...




Ahh... the bad memories...

[/offtopic]
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Postby David Ferstat » Sat Mar 26, 2005 10:21 pm

Chris wrote:
Graf Zahl wrote:...Alright, so maybe auto-updating is a bit overkill. I still think new version notifications would be useful.

So what do you want as your notification?

Every time a new version comes out, someone posts a thread advertising it. This isn't enough for you?
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Postby Chris » Sat Mar 26, 2005 10:55 pm

David Ferstat wrote:So what do you want as your notification?

Every time a new version comes out, someone posts a thread advertising it. This isn't enough for you?

Not everyone checks the forums everyday, if at all. Threads get missed and buried. I just think it'd be a nice convenience if ZDoom would automatically alert you if a new version is available. It can even be restricted to check only once a day if you're worried about server load. Especially if you get a message like this:
A new version of ZDoom is available!
You are currently using ZDoom a.b.c, and the latest version available is x.y.z. You can download it from <blah>.

If you experience issues with this version of ZDoom, please upgrade and see if the problem persists. PLEASE DO NOT POST BUG REPORTS FROM THIS VERSION!
[ ] Do not remind me again
[Okay] [Cancel]

Not only would it help us know a newer version is available, but it'd also help deter bug reports from older versions.
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Postby Chilvence » Sat Mar 26, 2005 11:09 pm

So, when you come across a bug, you dont make a habit of checking whether there is an update?
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Postby Graf Zahl » Sun Mar 27, 2005 2:51 am

Those who are to lazy to periodically check for updates don't deserve better! This whole thing is just an excuse to justify one's own laziness.

Ok, let's see:

2004 we had the following versions:


2.0.61
2.0.62
2.0.63
2.0.63a
2.0.90 *
2.0.91 *
2.0.92 *
2.0.93 *
2.0.94
2.0.95 *
2.0.96

Yes, that's only 11 updates - and 5 of them (*) were either unstable betas or so buggy that I wouldn't have recommended them to anyone. So with automatic updates we have 2 problems.

1. They are so infrequent that any server maintenance would be in no relation to the benefits. It would make sense if there was a new version on a regular basis.
2. Who decides which version is stable enough to justify an update? Randy even considers 2.0.96 an unstable intermediate version if you look closely at the downloads page!

Auto-updates should only check for official stable versions and the only 2.0.x version that fits that criteria is 2.0.63a. It's the only one that was ever advertised as the official latest version after we could convince Randy to redesign the downloads page last summer!
And even if you ask me the only ones that are stable enough were 2.0.63, 2.0.63a and 2.0.96 should have been. Most of the rest were real betas that were released so we could test them and find the bugs.
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Postby Chris » Sun Mar 27, 2005 3:50 am

Chilvence wrote:So, when you come across a bug, you dont make a habit of checking whether there is an update?

Apparently not everyone does, evidenced by the fact that we get old bug reports. Sometimes I don't think to.. I'm one that's fairly keen on checking for new versions, so when I come across a bug, sometimes I'll just go right to the bugs forum, believing I have the latest version (luckilly though I've not run into a situation where I have posted an old report).

Graf Zahl wrote:1. They are so infrequent that any server maintenance would be in no relation to the benefits. It would make sense if there was a new version on a regular basis.

In case you haven't noticed, Randy has a place to put a < 1kb text file.

2. Who decides which version is stable enough to justify an update? Randy even considers 2.0.96 an unstable intermediate version if you look closely at the downloads page!

All the more reason to notify people of updates. With the way things are going, I don't think ZDoom's going to have a "stable" release any time soon.

And even if you ask me the only ones that are stable enough were 2.0.63, 2.0.63a and 2.0.96 should have been.

Which we only knew after they were released and tested by users. Randy doesn't have a dev team to go through the code and playtest before a release to call it stable or unstable, so we just have to work with what we got. Luckilly Randy's been pretty good about getting a fixed version out if there's a major bug.

Those who are to lazy to periodically check for updates don't deserve better!

So you don't think any update notification system is worth it? That anyone who uses any notification service is just lazy? Luckilly it doesn't matter what you think, it matters what Randy thinks. And given the number of update notification systems that programs use, it appears to be useful.
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Postby Graf Zahl » Sun Mar 27, 2005 5:44 am

Chris wrote:
Graf Zahl wrote:1. They are so infrequent that any server maintenance would be in no relation to the benefits. It would make sense if there was a new version on a regular basis.

In case you haven't noticed, Randy has a place to put a < 1kb text file.


This is not about a 1kb text file. This is about the traffic it generates. I think you are grossly underestimating this.

2. Who decides which version is stable enough to justify an update? Randy even considers 2.0.96 an unstable intermediate version if you look closely at the downloads page!

All the more reason to notify people of updates. With the way things are going, I don't think ZDoom's going to have a "stable" release any time soon.


And the average user's reaction will be: 'This software sucks! Every now and then it will make me update to a buggy version! No, thank you!

And even if you ask me the only ones that are stable enough were 2.0.63, 2.0.63a and 2.0.96 should have been.

Which we only knew after they were released and tested by users. Randy doesn't have a dev team to go through the code and playtest before a release to call it stable or unstable, so we just have to work with what we got. Luckilly Randy's been pretty good about getting a fixed version out if there's a major bug.


That doesn't matter. You can't make auto-updates without thoroughly testing the version BEFORE making the new version available. And that cannot happen - for obvious reasons!

Those who are to lazy to periodically check for updates don't deserve better!

So you don't think any update notification system is worth it? That anyone who uses any notification service is just lazy? Luckilly it doesn't matter what you think, it matters what Randy thinks. And given the number of update notification systems that programs use, it appears to be useful.[/quote]

Yes, but these are no small one-man hobby projects. These are big and important products that generate a lot of revenue which justifies the work involved in maintaining such a system. ZDoom is programmed and maintained by one person in his free time so any effort that went into such a system (and be it the regular maintenance work only) is better spent elsewhere.

It's total overkill for a minor inconvenience of a small number of people. In the context of the project at hand this entire idea is - forgive my bluntness - purely idiotic. Just because something looks neat on the surface it doesn't mean that it is nonsense if you dig deeper. IMO that's the case here and viewed from a practical standpoint it doesn't have any merit.

And of course:

No ZSteam, please!


(because that's what it is essentially.)
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Postby Enjay » Sun Mar 27, 2005 6:23 am

I agree entirely with Graf. (With one minor exception - see below.) Everything he has said on this issue makes sense. Just look at the hatred generated and the bile spilled because of Valve and Steam all over the internet. What has been asked for in a couple of threads now stops only a few steps short of what steam is.

With such a small user base and such infrequent updates, it simply doesn't make sense to add this load to the program, a user's internet access and a server set up to receive these queries.

What don't I agree with?
Graf Zahl wrote:2.0.96 should have been


It has a few frustrating bugs (eg if you play with the status bar, it's incredibly annoying to have your face disappear a short while into your game - cosmetic I know, but meh) and it has had a tendancy to lock up for me. There have been other, far better, far more stable versions (IMO). 2.0.63a is still the better version to play with most of the time. I personally only use 2.0.96 if a WAD requires it or if I have found a problem in 2.0.63a and want to see if it's still there in 2.0.96. So, IMO, 2.0.96 is quite rightly not designated as "stable enough".

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Postby Graf Zahl » Sun Mar 27, 2005 7:48 am

... and 2.0.63(a) had that infamous 'gibbed monsters disappear under crushers' bug. Anyway, the status bar face is not an issue for me because I always play fullscreen and it doesn't lock up for me. So 2.0.96 is stable enough - it's most certainly no less stable than 2.0.63a which also had its share of annoying bugs that got fixed later.
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Postby QBasicer » Sun Mar 27, 2005 8:37 am

I don't think that just because it's stable for you, it's completely stable.
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