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30

Depends entirely on the installation technology, company developing the software and the whim of the person using the terms. Generally though, updates stay within a product version (for example, hotfixes), while if you want to move to a later version, you would upgrade. So you might install an update (hotfix) for Office 2007, or you might upgrade to Office ...


24

As with many things in computing, it depends. If the patches are a response to customer requests for new features or improvements, then your company will be viewed as responsive. If, on the other hand, your patches are a response to bug reports, then your company will be viewed as incompetent. Testing software on your customers is by far the most ...


17

For better understanding of something that is complicated, just make it more simplier. In this example, just split the word into atoms, like these: Update - UP_DATE - make it up to date; Upgrade - UP_GRADE - move it to the upper (or next) grade (or level).


15

Like Shaun said, there isn't really a standard. Some companies have better versioning practices than others (I've dealt with vendors who skip major version numbers, and others that are stuck on the same x.y several releases later). Having said that, the inventor of Gravatars and cofounder of GitHub (Tom Preston-Werner) authored a document for 'Semantic ...


15

There is more to testing than unit testing. You need to test the new features and bug fixes you created manually in a testing environment that mirrors a real-world installation as best as possible. Having one of the other developers 'review' changes is not an appropriate level of testing for two reasons. First, that implies they'll give it a quick look ...


11

Libraries are great and certainly solve a lot of problems very quickly. However they never solve every problem and even gluing together many libraries isn't enough to solve many specific use cases. Programmers are not typists. We've had that discussion before. Despite all the libraries, frameworks and out of the box solutions, there is always something your ...


11

The first question to ask is "Is the version of Java supported on the machine?" While updating the JRE is one thing, it may be that the underlying OS is not supported running the new version of Java (supported certifications and support contracts and the like that many enterprise environments like to have). Many java production environments are actually ...


10

I feel like releasing several patches in close proximity reflects poorly on the company. It always makes me feel like they didn't test throughly enough up front, that the developers are incompetent, or the management has no idea what they are doing. That being said, the other side of the token is that releasing several patches close to one another shows ...


8

As a tech user, I don't terribly mind opting out of updates, but I imagine you'll see a fair bit of variation on that point. Are you expecting the majority of your app's users to be tech-inclined? If not, then enabling automatic updates by default is a great idea and I'd go with option #2. Otherwise... well, I'd probably still go with option #2 because I ...


8

How do you field criticism framed in "You must be a bad programmer because you're making your software worse"? But such criticism is mostly justified. A new release should not be worse than the previous, but as we know, in reality it often it is, and it is our fault because we made it. Making mistakes is human, and it doesn't make anybody a "bad ...


7

Well, at work we don't interact directly with the clients much, so I'll have to answer this one from personal project work. I'm writing a game engine that people can use to build their own games. It's still in pre-alpha, but I've got a few interested users, and sometimes I get bugs. When I get a report like this from a user, I try to use the personal ...


7

With 4 digits it is usually MajorV.MinorV.PatchNum.BuildNum, at least where I work. I personally prefer the Ubuntu's versioning scheme - makes life so much easier.


7

You might want to support versions n-2 and n-1 (or just n-1) along with version n where n is the current version, just to give people a bit of time to upgrade. But you can't support something forever - it's just not realistic.


7

It's not poor, deployment of the main install image and downloadable update/patch are different things. You cannot expect software providers chase all their downloadable images at all the mirrors to be updated with the latest nightly build, although some do that. Usually, a cut-off is being made for a release image, and until the next cut-off, the updates ...


7

Just as you can create a patch for a text (source) file, you can create a patch for a binary file as well. You are effectively just noting what changed between two files (that's called delta encoding). For example, if the app contains many resources, then those don't usually change for smaller updates, and only the executable code itself needs to be ...


7

Orace has adopted a pretty weird numbering scheme: Since the initial release of JDK 5.0, Java update releases have either been Limited Update releases that include new functionality and non-security fixes or Critical Patch Updates (CPUs) that only include fixes for security vulnerabilities. We will continue releasing Limited Update and CPU Java ...


7

The short answer is that the new version could introduce new bugs, as Robert Harvey mentioned in the comments. To be honest, I think you are approaching this the wrong way. In my experience, the better approach is to default to sticking with the version you have. Presumably, your team has already tested the version you use and how it integrates with your ...


7

More and more companies follow in Chrome's footsteps and have more and more frequent customer releases. The pre-requisite for implementing short release cycles is a painless upgrade - in chrome, for example, the upgrade is done without user intervention at all on application start-up, and if the user keeps his application always on, he receives a minor flag ...


6

The short version is that there is no standard and companies do whatever they want. Essentially, the more numbers you have, the smaller the amount of changes each number represents. Commonly, you'll see at least version x.y, where x a change in x signifies major releases (major enhancement/feature rollouts) and y signifies minor releases (significant tweaks ...


6

If this happens to you every time you deploy, there could be a serious flaw in your development process. I would suspect a couple of things that are causing the problems. Do you develop against a database that is the same size (roughly) as production? If not then you will always have these problems because queries that are fine with small data sets are ...


6

Odd as it may seem the Windows Update dialog has the right options (ignoring the potential for problems caused by the default): Automatic (updates downloaded and installed without user intervention [Microsoft's words not mine]). Though this is badly worded and misleading as the system will reboot without giving you the chance to save work etc. Which is one ...


6

If your working on a big update but don't want to give the impression of inactivity, write a blog post about it so that your customers can see that you haven't been hit by a bus. Other than that, I push fixes/updates as soon as they are available and tested. Severe emphasis on the and tested part. Lots of people out there have the one-line-fix mentality ...


5

Balance the level of desire for a new feature with the perception of how long it should take to develop. They may not be realistic, so you have to provide a little education. Sounds like you don't have much interaction with your users. If you do, they would have a better answer to this question. Otherwise, it depends.


5

I don't think there is a maximum time span between releases. It all depends on whether or not a new release actually does add value to the existing software. There might be situations, where the software simply does everything it's supposed to do and there really is no need to add feature after feature, after feature. Hence, the release cycles might be ...


5

If you set up the problem in the way you do by explicitly saying that there are no legacy reasons not to upgrade, everyone is going to agree that there is no reason to support older versions. Eliminating legacy reasons not to upgrade, however, is much easier said than done. Does the new version make any change to the UI? If so, that may mean that the ...


5

Insofar as the ancient question "what browsers should I support" the only good answer is "look at your traffic stats; combine with understanding of expense of what to support and make a rational decision." Anything else is ineffective. My take on the recent Microsoft action is it is more fluff and PR than anything real. The folks who are still on IE6 are ...


5

The bsdiff utility should come with OSX. If that can't work for you, there are other binary diff tools. However, with the advent of high bandwidth connections, the practice of distributing binary patches is becoming much less common. You can just as easily distribute a complete updated version of your program if need be.. FURTHER: A [good] module ...


5

This is an ordinary sandbox model (the one which is used with plugins/addins). Instead of calling the libraries directly, you load them in a different AppDomain. Doing this actually allows you to update the corresponding libraries while the application is still running. If you want to automate the process, the client application can monitor the directory ...


5

"File prevalence/reputation is low" means Avast uses a reputation system based on the usage of the program. Only if your program has been installed and 'marked as benevolent' by enough users will it develop a good reputation and will this suggestion go away. Avast calls this the FileRep cloud feature and says "All new unknown files are potentially dangerous. ...


5

The answer is more tests. Unfortunately, that isn't the answer you want to hear, but it really is the only solution. As you noted, the last roll-out went disastrously, which is most detrimental to customer satisfaction. It would be better to build a solid product with fewer new features than to build a whole bunch of buggy features on a buggy base. "This is ...



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