Too many updates

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lajjal
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Too many updates

#1 Post by lajjal » Sun Apr 18, 2010 1:48 pm

It is nice that the new arrangement has made a lot more software available. An unfortunate byproduct is that developers have begun to develop their software online in this site.
Instead of the old way where the forum was the venue for that now updates for software appear in the main listing in some cases on almost a daily basis. Currently showcasing that are System Explorer, uTorrent, and Kidsafe. Kidsafe is an excellent example of this kind of abuse.
Developers need to get their act together in the forum then post stable apps to the main listing. It's one thing to help beta test an app in the forum but quite another in the listing of stable applications. I am aware that some of these programs never get out of beta like Asuite but then it is not listed every other day with a few tweaks.

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webfork
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Re: Too many updates

#2 Post by webfork » Sun Apr 18, 2010 3:17 pm

lajjal wrote:I am aware that some of these programs never get out of beta like Asuite but then it is not listed every other day with a few tweaks.

The question every web site on the internet must answer for its visitors is "why should I care?" To help this site encourage more visitors and participants, its important to provide the best possible information to our users; we're not a site like freshmeat.net with customizable listings that could skip "minor" update notices.

Therefore, I encourage moderators to check the update notes associated with a version change. If "additional languages added" or "changed menu color" is the update, we should merely post in forums or skip it. If it is an important bug fix, its important to post the update even if it was only yesterday or even hours ago.

Thanks for the feedback lajjal.
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lajjal
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Re: Too many updates

#3 Post by lajjal » Sun Apr 18, 2010 5:09 pm

I completely agree. Major bug fixes must get out ASAP.

The key question here is, are the bugs being found after the author has, in good faith, put out an app that they think is ready for prime time or have they produced something and with little or no testing, put it out so we can find the bugs. I am seeing a trend toward the latter and that is my concern.

Why should this website care? Because while this not Freshmeat it is also not Sourceforge and visitors will be turned off seeing new versions of the same app over and over.

Thanks for the well thought out response webfork.

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joby_toss
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Re: Too many updates

#4 Post by joby_toss » Sun Apr 18, 2010 10:57 pm

What is a "major" and what is a "minor" application update?
I mean ... exactly?
What would the rule that emerges from this difference sound like?

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Napiophelios
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Re: Too many updates

#5 Post by Napiophelios » Mon Apr 19, 2010 1:49 am

You forgot to mention Q-Dir :mrgreen:

I personally appreciate the updated listings,even "minor" update.
It helps to balance out my no.1 rule for my portables' settings:
no automatic update checks!! :x

Of course I dont always download but its cool having all the info in one spot.

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guinness
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Re: Too many updates

#6 Post by guinness » Mon Apr 19, 2010 4:00 am

What is a "major" and what is a "minor" application update?
I mean ... exactly?
What would the rule that emerges from this difference sound like?
Good point. For those who consider a language change as minor might be construe as a major update for someone. I can't see the difference from posting it in the forum or on TPFC database. Personally I wouldn't want updates being posted in the forum, because I would have more posts to sift through, so we are back to the same problem!

Even though a small minority update the database, it would cause problems I think having certain rules of "What is classed as a major update" would cause misinterpretation.
If I don't update someone will :)
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computerfreaker
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Re: Too many updates

#7 Post by computerfreaker » Mon Apr 19, 2010 8:33 am

Lead KidSafe developer here.
lajjal wrote:An unfortunate byproduct is that developers have begun to develop their software online in this site.
Instead of the old way where the forum was the venue for that now updates for software appear in the main listing in some cases on almost a daily basis. Currently showcasing that are System Explorer, uTorrent, and Kidsafe. Kidsafe is an excellent example of this kind of abuse.
"Abuse"?
I apologize if I'm releasing new versions too quickly; the number of feature requests has gotten a little crazy lately (check out our bug tracker for proof), so we've been turning out new releases fairly quickly to take care of those. There's some fairly important problems with PortableApps.com that we're trying to resolve, too, and those changes are critical.
I can see what you're saying about new releases coming very quickly, but I wouldn't call that abuse; from my viewpoint, it's developers reacting to feedback with as little turnaround as possible.
lajjal wrote:Developers need to get their act together in the forum then post stable apps to the main listing. It's one thing to help beta test an app in the forum but quite another in the listing of stable applications. I am aware that some of these programs never get out of beta like Asuite but then it is not listed every other day with a few tweaks.
"few tweaks" - check out the KidSafe changelog. Very few releases have a short list of changes, and the ones that do usually have major changes (for example, 0.32.1.0 fixed a critical bug that could force a hard reboot to close KidSafe).

Idea: would it be preferable to you guys if I put a post in the forums when I update KidSafe, but only update the database once a month or so?

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guinness
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Re: Too many updates

#8 Post by guinness » Mon Apr 19, 2010 9:42 am

Check Here,
Hey lajjal,
Andrew made it clear that updates should be posted to the database and that you can use your RSS reader to filter updates!
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lajjal
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Re: Too many updates

#9 Post by lajjal » Mon Apr 19, 2010 5:07 pm

A nice lively discussion. Cool.

I'll just touch on few things since everyone seems to get my point except guinness maybe.

Of course an app that is in the database should be updated in the database. Using the forum for that would be silly. I am simply saying there is a right way and a wrong way for developers to bring new programs to this site.

The process done right is exemplified by the way EjectUSB came into the world. Bugs were worked through in the forum with discussion and help from other members and then added to the database when it was ready. A few updates followed at a reasonable pace and off it went. A great app.

The process done wrong is exemplified by KidSafe who, in this thread, states that every added feature gets a new release. That is an example of a minor update for those who can't decide what is major or minor.

This is THE site in the small but rapidly growing portable community. When you get in the database you have hit the big leagues. What we have now effectively allows developers to "bump" their app to the top by constantly putting out new releases. That is not fair to other developers and it dilutes the value of this site. It is exploitation that needs to be controlled. It also tells new visitors that not much is going on here since they see the same apps all the time.

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Re: Too many updates

#10 Post by donald » Mon Apr 19, 2010 8:38 pm

lajjal would you suggest a limit on the total number of updates per app per month? I think it is a bad idea but would you suggest it?

***bad idea 2?***I think it may be a nice Idea to consider setting the homepage to display new only by default, though that would require keeping the original entry date to prevent elimination of updated applications and displaying by original entry date. (setting this up would likely be a big headache even if all current apps were set to a value of today as the entry date.)

***Another bad Idea would be to consider a second rss for the "new only" crowd. (or is it really just a limited number of apps being updated very frequently?)

I appreciate the updates on the applications I do use, but I also find the updates overwhelming in frequency, that is why I use the search preferences to search the database and check the rss regularly looking for my favorite apps.

I think if it really is abuse (I said if), then perhaps contacting either the moderators or Andrew Lee might be in order.

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joby_toss
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Re: Too many updates

#11 Post by joby_toss » Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:18 pm

My opinion: the "Latest" subsection of the database should always reflect just that, the latest software updates, no matter how often they appear.
The "News" subsection should reflect only the new additions to the database (the forum has its own "Forum" subsection where users can read the forum news).
And the main page of the http://www.portablefreeware.com website should link to the "All" subsection, not the Latest as it is now.
I think I always wanted it this way and I also realize it is not likely that Andrew will change the way it is now.

I always want to know about software updates! No question about that! Regardless of how big or small that update is (always subjective). After I read more about the latest update of an application I can decide if I want to update my local copy or not.

lajjal
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Re: Too many updates

#12 Post by lajjal » Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:26 pm

I think there is a lot to learn from the way Distrowatch approaches the problem.

While you or I find rss etc. no problem, the general public won't do those things. As portable comes to also mean platform agnostic and the movement meshes with cloud computing it will take over the world. This is the only site that seems to understand what that means. They haven't embraced the agnostic part yet I think they will.

When all this is mainstream this site in particular needs to avoid exploitation and that may become a very difficult task. It is my respect for Mr. Lee and the others who helped make this possible that makes me want to see it stay above the fray. I think the time may come when someone offers to buy this site for a very large sum of money.

lajjal
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Re: Too many updates

#13 Post by lajjal » Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:35 pm

I agree with what the Latest should contain. The problem is that is is also the default page and because of the very useful information that is presented with each app listing there is not room for more than a handful of apps on that page. That means that someone who publishes constant updates can dominate the site's main page getting free advertising for their efforts.

computerfreaker
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Re: Too many updates

#14 Post by computerfreaker » Tue Apr 20, 2010 11:41 am

lajjal wrote:The process done right is exemplified by the way EjectUSB came into the world. Bugs were worked through in the forum with discussion and help from other members and then added to the database when it was ready. A few updates followed at a reasonable pace and off it went. A great app.
"reasonable pace" varies, IMHO. Some apps - especially those below 1.0.0.0 - are updated quickly; some apps - especially the long-lived ones - are updated more slowly. It depends on the dev(s) and the public's response (or lack thereof).
lajjal wrote:The process done wrong is exemplified by KidSafe who, in this thread, states that every added feature gets a new release. That is an example of a minor update for those who can't decide what is major or minor.
Not what I said, sorry.
What I did say was that each release has a long list of changes, except when the changes are critical. Look at the KidSafe changelog if you need proof. The latest dev version, 0.36.0.0 (which is about to drop - sorry), has had 10 changes (1 bugfix and 9 improvements) made since the latest public release. Some of those changes are minor, but most aren't.

I also said that quick releases are because people request new features - as demonstrated by the KidSafe bug tracker, which was overflowing with feature requests until less than 24 hours ago - and a short turnaround is good in all regards. It keeps users happy and it keeps the tracker empty or nearly-empty, which makes devs' lives easier as well.

Personally, I like seeing all the updates. I don't care how minor an update is; maybe it fixes a bug I've never seen, or adds a feature I'll never use, but the odds are better that it fixes a bug that's driven me crazy or adds some great new feature.

Just my 2¢, as always.

Cheers!

computerfreaker

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Re: Too many updates

#15 Post by computerfreaker » Tue Apr 20, 2010 3:51 pm

I just dropped 0.36.0.0; that will doubtless provoke some wrath, but I'm going AFK for a month - no more updates until late May/early June unless somebody finds a critical bug. Hope that pleases you, lajjal. ;)

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