[vlc-devel] Future of the update mechanism

Jean-Baptiste Kempf jb at videolan.org
Wed Jul 29 20:25:58 CEST 2009

Hello guys,

On Wed, Jul 29, 2009 at 06:02:12PM +0200, Felix Paul Kühne wrote :
> 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 

Most of you know me quite well now and I am usually quite nice on ml,
IRC or forum, but I have to say that I am VERY PISSED OFF by this.
And I __mean__ it.

Failing to make users upgrade is very annoying for many reasons,
especially for support, marketing and security. So many people are stuck
on 0.8.6d for this reason... Very clever

The code in src/misc/update.c is very difficult (and I am staying
polite) to read, the code in the qt4 dialog has way too many cases.
The dependency on crypto libgs make the libvlccore.dll 500kB bigger on Windows,
while most of the time you don't need that and I don't speak about
external programs..

But the biggest issue is about the complexity of testing (no funman,
changing a gpg-key, a host, is NOT SIMPLE) which made NOONE to test the
updates on 1.0.0, neither on Windows, nor on the Mac.

I am sorry to tell you that 'I told you so' (© courmisch) and that I
don't find this funny at all.


- Put the update mechanism in a module.
- Do the VirtualBox way, ie, a popup with a link redirecting to the
  website. VLC update mechanism is not able to quit VLC and execute the
  download, especially because of UAC on Windows.
  So, when the interface asks for it, launch this update module, that
  gets a message on the update website, check security, check version
  and launch a dialog_*.
- Else, make it the same way as now, but
  - Clean it up
  - make it more error-prone, and not crash VLC
  - find a way to go over UAC and to quit VLC to start the installer.
  - make it more generalist so it can be used for skins downloading or
    other extensions
  - make it simple.

I will object anything that is not simple, since it just show that we
are not able to maintain a complex mechanism...

Best Regards (or not)

  good night

Jean-Baptiste Kempf

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