Development:Planning:Software Update

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  • can build in a 10.3/10.3.9 SDK/gcc3.3 and 10.4/10.4u/gcc4 Universal configuration
  • Compatible license
  • Approval to land in cvs (if not using mozUpdate) - mento prefers landing source code instead of binary drops
  • https capabilities
    • Everything needs to be either https or signed (signing is an option for the Sparkle downloads, but there's a logistical issue that would come with that)
  • Update checking (OS version, etc.)
    • say, 1.6.x updates to 2.0.x at some point unless you're running 10.3, in which case you only get 1.6.x updates
    • and if you move to 10.4, do you get re-offered 2.0.x
  • provide a way to turn off update checking from inside the app (unlike adium - with apologies to cbarrett for the jab)
  • one thing i don't like about sparkle is that it doesn't check to see if you have permission to update the app first
  • We should only enable update checking in official release builds
  • en-only and ML Camino
    • what if your language drops from ML in a major update?
  • Localization of required strings
    • This is significant UI, and it needs to be localized (i.e., Gecko chrome strings bug is a no-go here)
  • Automated generation of update and update notification
  • Bouncer/download counts

Potential requirements

  • Resuming lost connections
  • Background/throttled downloads
  • Remind me later
    • Don't remind me again???
  • Install update later


  • QA
  • Documentation
  • Gecko
  • Well-maintained
  • User Experience
    • ardissone has some concerns with the over-promptiness of the proposed Sparkle2 story

Comparison Table

Requirement mozUpdate Sparkle Option 3
Can build as 10.3/10.4 Universal Yes Yes
License Tri-License MIT [1]
cvs Approval In tree
Can land source code
(instead of binary drops)
In tree
Uses https for binary downloads
Uses https for "need to update" notice downloads
https server available
Supports fine-grained checking for version/OS pairs Not directly, but we should be able to point to different URLs by OS version
Can disable update checking within Camino Yes Yes
Verifies user has permission to update first Supports users authenticating
Can enable updates/update checking only in official release builds Yes
Can handle ML as well as en-only Camino Yes, but we have to localize it Yes
UI string localization Yes, but we have to localize it Yes
Release automation
Bouncer/download counts
Support for resuming lost connections
Can download in background
Can download at low speed to not affect connection
Can remind to download later Yes
Can install later once downloaded
Good UI/UE
(not lots of prompting, esp. at launch)
We control prompting At startup, but we could modify that
Other concerns
Expanded QA requirements If we do partial updates, yes Minimal; it's just an over-install
Documentation Poor/missing for many parts Good
Complexity added to the app
e.g. wrapping Gecko
It can be fairly separate, but it's code we need to write Minimal
Actively maintained and supported Yes, Firefox at least uses it (and TB?) Yes, 188+ Apps using it
Color key
Present Unknown Missing