- Aaron Boodman - "I'm a big believer in silent autoupdates"
- PPK/Quirksmode - "I hate automatic updating"
Something Aaron didn’t mention - What happens when a silent auto-update breaks something? Anyone that's had to do battle with the demo-pixies silently changing something just before an important demo hates the idea that something might be silently altering their rendering engine as they are opening their laptop on-stage.
PPK's issue basically comes down to testing older versions - how can I test version X-1, when it's just been replaced by version X. On the one hand with silent auto-update virtually everyone will be on version X, so X-1 isn’t important, however I don't think that removes all need for testing on X-1.
We should have silent auto-update. It makes the Internet safer, and we badly need that. But we should also have a system that keeps old versions around for some period of time with a way for users to revert. Maybe there is then an entry in the help menu that allows users to say 'it broke take me back', and maybe a preference that configures the number of old versions left lying around.
I have a suspicion that many corporates turn auto-update off in order to test the updates batches before internal release (or to put it another way - it's a cost saving) Maybe with undoable silent autoupdate they would allow the system to work without getting in the way?
I'm a big believer in undoable silent autoupdates.