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Re: Shouldn't distros and ISVs ensure that security updates get deployed promptly?

From:  "Aaron J. Seigo" <>
Subject:  Re: Shouldn't distros and ISVs ensure that security updates get deployed promptly?
Date:  Wed, 4 Feb 2009 03:55:12 -0700
Message-ID:  <>
Archive-link:  Article

On Wednesday 04 February 2009, Dan Kegel wrote:
> e.g. instead of an ignorable notification,
> how about an in-your-face dialog saying
> they're going to be installed now?

the usability of update notifications is pretty dismal, yes. personally i'm 
hoping that packageKit (or whatever ends up ultimately filling that need, 
though PK is certainly the front runner right now) will allow upstream desktop 
teams to provide a UI for these things that downstreams can elect to take 
advantage of. 

not only will this be nicer for the user (greater consistency in a few 
different dimensions: across distros, across desktop environments), but by 
sharing the load and bringing the creation of these interfaces to a wider dev 
and usability audience we can probably end up with more robust solutions.

> Or in some cases even just silently installing them?

distro Q/A resources would have to _significantly_ increase for this to work 
reliably. too many updates still break too many systems on too regular a 

> I can't recall any standard mechanisms to make this
> happen other than, um, having the package install
> a daily crontab script to update itself via the appropriate
> "apt-get install foo" or "yum install foo" command.

a typical aproach for third party applications is to do a version availability 
check on app start and offer to update if a new version is available. if it's 
a long running service, this can be done on a timed basis, of course.

Aaron J. Seigo
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