SuperMemo Auto-update feature

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From: Jiri P.
Sent: Saturday, August 23, 2008 9:01 AM
Subject: RE: How is it going? [SuperMemo #343]

Question

Is there the SuperMemo auto-update feature planned? All programs I use do have such a feature so it would be quite a useful addition to the Help menu ("Check for an update....").

Currently, I periodically run the installer which automatically downloads the latest version of the program as I do not know of any other way how to update the program.

Answer

There are no plans for an auto-update. The present solution makes it possible to shorten the testing cycle for updates, and reduce the risk of affecting a large number of users with a new bug.

The fastest way to see if your SuperMemo does not miss important fixes is to check Stable release version on the Main Page.

The great value of unannounced updates is a very small number of users who might be exposed to the risk of a new bug in a new update. This makes it easy to provide individual help in resolving issues.

Unlike the security updates in Windows (i.e. the best know auto-update feature in Windows), updates to SuperMemo are rarely of major significance to users. The only exception might be the first weeks after the release.

What is planned though is an option for an easy comparison of the present version with the newest version available. User will then be able to decide if the update is worth the hassle.

Another user suggestion

Announcing that new updates are available to the current version of SuperMemo would be appreciated (I only discovered v16.1 was available by chance when reading a help page or forum post that was unrelated to software updates). Maybe via RSS or Twitter.

comment

  • the benefits of updates are usually minor as there are usually only a few bugs fixed. Understandably, this is a psychological issue. When things are imperfect, we hope they get better with a prompt update
  • major bug fixes (e.g. where user data might be compromised) are usually announced
  • if there is a bug or issue that is particularly bothersome, SuperMemopedia is a good place to settle whether there is a good chance the bug would be (or has been) fixed in the current version
  • Check for updates is probably part of the current installation (SM16?)
  • at the moment of updating this page (Sep 16, 2016), iOS 10 update is causing lots of frustration for users of iPhone and iPad. SuperMemo would like to avoid a similar debacle. Even with it small base of users, some bugs can cause a lot of headache to users, and the problem only gets bigger if all users fall into a trap simultaneously

See also