[vlc-devel] Future of the update mechanism

Felix Paul Kühne fkuehne.videolan at googlemail.com
Wed Jul 29 18:02:12 CEST 2009

Hello guys,

as most of you known, we are experiencing some problems with the  
current update mechanism. Some people want to replace it with a simple  
panel showing the URL of the latest version. This is something I don't  
really like as it is quite unfriendly for the user. As my roommate put  
it, the PC is there to do stuff for me and I'm not there to stuff for  
it => it's obviously a lot easier to let VLC download the binary  
without web-browser contact.

Ideally, it should also install the update, restart VLC and delete the  
old version plus installer.

That's exactly what Sparkle [1] does on the Mac. This is a drop-in  
update framework depending on a so-called "appcast", which would need  
to be saved on a plain http server. Basically, it's just a XML file.  
This framework uses SSL connections to the update and download servers  
and matches a DSA-encrypted sha1 hash against the downloaded  
installation before installation. Additionally, it allows html-based  
release notes in its update window. [...]
It's BSD-style licensed and used by many GPLed apps on the Mac, most  
importantly Adium, Handbrake and Transmission as well as almost 500  

Anyway, are there political or technical reasons which would prevent  
me / us from using this framework on the Mac to improve the current  

Best regards,


[1] http://sparkle.andymatuschak.org/

Felix Paul Kühne
Co-Developer of VLC's Mac OS X port

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