honem (honem) wrote in worldofwarcraft,

My email addon update plan ( or automatic updater programs why I don't use them)

I'm following the great furor regarding Curse/Wowinterface's decision to block Wow matrix users from updating their addons direct from the wow matrix.

This post is not about that.

This post is about the change in my thinking that lead me away from using addon updater programs. With this philsophy I stopped using them because they weren't offering me what I needed. A warning for you I can get pretty verbose. Make sure you have at least 10-20 minutes to read this behemoth because I ain't going to summarise it for you.

I used to be like everyone else out there.
I used to use wow matrix and the WAU.

But then back in April 2008 I saw Kaelten's post about the closing of files.wowace.com. WAU wasn't working for me anymore. I was faced to going back to checking everything by hand. I then shifted to using wow matrix for a while. Then I discovered that the authors of addons didn't like me using it for reasons I whole heartedly agreed with. I shifted to updating using bookmarks for a while.

So I , a few months ago I sat down and really thought about it. Once I really thought about I come up with 5 truths about addons.

1) Addons don't need to be updated every single day/week/month
2) If an addon is working for you and/or isn't causing a problem for you then you shouldn't need to update it
3) Addons should tell me when they're ready to be updated
4) Addons should tell me what they've changed
5) If it's a MAJOR update then you should update it
6) If it's a MINOR update then you shouldn't update it

We have accurate threat numbers now so no need to constantly update threat meters / threat libraries. If an addon's working for you why download something's thats going to risk breaking it ? . I don't want to have to remember to open an updater program at all - why can't the addons themselves tell me when they need to be changed ? You start up wow matrix and it tells you that 6 addons need to be updated. Why can't those 6 addons tell me when if they need to be updated?

Now how would I know if I should update that addon or not . If it's MAJOR update then definitely. These could be things like any optimizations of code , code rewrites , bug fixes or fixes for incompatibility with another addon I use. Also included in here is if I've been getting bugs relating to what a addon does (eg a problem with chat and a chat mod updates)

If it's a MINOR update then I won't bother updating it. Localisation changes ? No ... why should I download an update when all that's changed is the text on a button in Russian ??? I don't speak Russian,German,French,Mandarin or Japanese . I only play in English so localisation changes are useless for me. Fix on a feature I don't even use? *yawn*. Fix for incompatiability for an addon I don't have use *No thank :D* Tagging change ? That usaully means that the fixes the author has submitted on previous builds of the addon he's certified as working so he's tagging them so it changes the version number to be consistent with all the sites he updates too. If you've been keeping up with updating your addons then tagging changes are minor. Or major if you haven't updated that addon for a while.

So what I did was go on Curse , Wowinterface and the wowace site. I made favourites of evey addon I use. I set it up to email me when they update. I then examine each email and make the decision to load the addon's page. I then work out if I want to download that update or not. Unzip , install , backup done.

Let me break it down what happens for me when I update.

Firstly I don't update every single day. I update maybe once per week only because I happen to enjoy keeping track of what's changed.

Emails = 22

I'm keeping track of around 100 addons. This is proof that most addons don't get updated that often. 22% . And some of those are duplicates. Recounts a big one for getting constantly updated. Ok lets remove duplicates.

Emails without duplicates = 12

Hmm ok now I need to figure out what are major updates and what are minor updates. Remember I can safely ignore a minor update. Majors are basically a download straight away. Addons I know get major updates fairly regularly also get loaded up. If I 'm having a problem with an addon then thats gets a update as well.

Webpages opened =6

With a tabbed browser looking through these are a snap. For each one I make sure I always go to the most recent one on wowace.com. I then re-examine change logs. Again Minor updates get ignored. Major or needed updates I download immediately. It's up to me wheter I judge an update worthy of downloading or not - I'm not an addon author lua writing magician. But even I can recognise when something sounds like a good update or not. This process doesn't take me long at all

Addon updates actually dowloaded = 4

As above unzip , install , back up done.

Average time taken = 8 - 12 minutes . Slightly longer on patch cause you know patch day :D

One final point. None of this install process stops me from playing. With most new versions of addons you can just copy over the old one and a simple "/console reloadui" command gets you up and running with the new version. There's also always cup of hot chocolate time , a precious time for me (nearly as much as sexy time.

I don't use any automatic updater programs as I can't find any that meet my needs. None of them offer what I need - a way for the addon pages themselves
to PUSH when they update. Not the other way around.

Any questions ? Comments ?
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