Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: Microsoft Will Transform into Services Firm

Author:Nicholas Riley
Posted:10/15/1999; 4:42:18 PM
Topic:Microsoft Will Transform into Services Firm
Msg #:12084 (In response to 12083)
Prev/Next:12083 / 12085

Yeah, it's funny, that's the thing that grabs people about Debian. My first demo of Debian is always doing a "apt-get update; apt-get upgrade" and explaining what happens behind the scenes, because I've found it very successful in gaining many a convert.

Debian's auto-updating process has always worked seamlessly for me, and I am constantly impressed (being very much an outsider to the Debian Project) by the large number of people who work to make sure it does. It really is a sensible model to only declare an OS upgrade complete if ALL the software available for the OS (officially, at least) functions properly. But very open-source dependent, of course.

I think an Internet protocol for software updates, plus freely available implementations, embeddable into software for every platform, would be great. How about implementing it over XML-RPC? It'd probably be too inefficient to send the actual patches via XML-RPC, but a free system that would make it trivial to:

It'd be great to have such a facility as a system service, to avoid baking FTP/HTTP download code and checking facilities into every application. I could also imagine it'd cut down on network traffic - I know lots of people who post full versions upgrades of software upgrades because it's too difficult, too expensive, or too hard to support to create a patcher. On the Mac at least, it's worked for Internet Config as a third-party model that worked so well that it was eventually made a part of the system, why not this?

Something like Apple's online update model for QuickTime 4 and Mac OS 9 (using MindVision's technology) would be great. I'm sure Windows Update works similarly.


This page was archived on 6/13/2001; 4:53:04 PM.

© Copyright 1998-2001 UserLand Software, Inc.