Why do you need to update your addons ?
I made this post on the Curse forums but no one seems to be interested in discussion on it. I'm not sure if I should have this here or in the tutorials forums. I've altered it a little from the Curse post version but here goes :
Why do you guys need an addon updater client at all ?
There seems to be a general attitude in the addon community that you absolutely need an addon updater client to keep all your addons updated and "omg you has to do it every single day or else your addons will break in the middle of a maly raid and you mights wipe the raid" and that "omg updating addons is so hard . I use a gazillion mods and it would take me for ever manually"
Let's get back to basics here guys ....
You download addons. You install addons. This process is very simple to do.
Why do you need to update them ?
Why there could be bugs. The code may take up an extra 400k of memory because of inefficient use of tables, It could be interferring with another addon. Blizzard might of come out with new patch changing how the api the addon uses works. Any number of reasons.
What can happen if you don't update them ?
You might see lots of red errors come up on screen. Parts of the addon might not work. If you're really unlucky you might get disconnected. I've never heard of anything destructive from an addon erroring. Either you update it to work , find a replacement or simply disable it.
Ok so if nothing's wrong on my UI do I need to update ?
I know I'm going to get flamed for this statement but here it is
"Assuming your UI is not broken AND NOT spewing up red errors then you can afford not to update for a while" .
Sounds a bit heretical right ? . I've been using an email update strategy for updating my addons since December 2008. And you know what ? There's been stretches of 2 weeks at a time where I have not downloaded a single update. And my UI has been just fine.
So what are all these updates to addons I see ? Surely I need to download those updates ! There could be new features and optimisations !
Here's where you have to distinguish for yourself if it's a MAJOR update or a MINOR update.
A Major update is where the other has done a considerable amount of rework on the addon. He might of gone through every line of code making code optimisations. He might of fixed some show stopping bugs. He might of changed how his addon works in order to work better with another addon. It's up to you what you judge as a major update. A bug that's effecting your timing of your steady shot and you play a hunter ? Yeah that's major. A bug that's effecting the incoming heal on a tank and you raid on a warlock ? Possibly minor.
A minor update meanwhile is one that is either a few lines of code changed or doesn't effect you in some way. If you only play in English then any and all localisation changes can be crossed off the list to update. A "tagging" change usaully means the author has decleared that the builds he wrote before definately work with the latest patch so he's tagging it as a particular version to bring the release version on all sites in line with the development version. A new feature that you're never going to use ? Minor! . A bug fix for a class you don't play ? Minor !
It's really up to you what you judge as Major or Minor.
The Minor updates I don't even bother downloading. This doesn't not effect the running of my addons or the state of my UI. The major ones I do. Like my signature says. 89 addons. Updated every week or so. 22-25 emails. Looking at 8-9 addon pages. Downloading 3-4 addon updates. Takes less than 15 minutes.
How do I know what's changed so I can judge whats a major change or what's a minor change ?
Version histories. My email updates have these. For the ones I don't I end up opening the page. It's on Curse under the "Changes" tab (below where you click to download) and on Wow interface under the "Change Log" tab at the top.
You don't have to be a brain buzz to judge if you should download a version of a mod or not. If it interests you then download. If it sounds minor to you , don't
What's a good way of updating your addons without a addon updater client ?
1) fins metasite that takes RSS feeds the addon sites provides and formats them
2) Make favourites of all your addons on the major addon sites. Most of them will have a page you can go to that lists just your updated favourites
3) Extension of number 2 , make favourites but this time set it up so you can emails about the addons. Examine each to judge wether it is major or minor.
I don't work for Curse or Wowinterface . Since adopting my current way of updating my addons (email updates details in my sig) I've actually spent less time updating my addons.
I don't open up an addon updater program before I login every day. They may be updates but I would prefer to have control over what gets downloaded and installed rather then just blindy installing something and hoping for the best.
I don't have a problem with people who use addon updater programs just people who feel the need to use them every single day , download every single update and associate updating manually with pulling teeth.
No offense intended to the fine people who are currently writing addon updater clients for Curse or WI but at the end of the day I'm not going to use them as they don't suit my needs :D
Updating your addons doesn't have to be time consuming or difficult at all. It's actually very easy. I've posted this elsewhere, but I'll copy it here too:
On WoWInterface (I don't know about Curse, but I'm sure it's something similar, same with wowui.incgamers), when you go to the download page of an AddOn you use and like, you can click on the little heart underneath the big download button. That adds it to your favourites list. Now every time you visit the site, you will see a notice on the front page (Community tab) saying whether any of your favourites have been updated. As well, there is a link on the top bar of the site that says "favourites", that you can click at any time to go look at your list.
To get email notifications of updates of your favourites, do this:
If you are on your Favourites list page you will see a little menu on the left, or if you are on any other page on the site (except the forums tab) you can click on "Options" on the top bar. Either one of those places you will see:
Click on "Preferences". You will then see this:
My Favorites Options
Enable this feature to recive email notification when one of your favorites has been updated.
Just check "yes" and any time any AddOn on your favourites list is updated, it will send out an email notification that it has been updated and give you a direct link to the download page for that AddOn.
Also, there is always the option of getting an RSS feed of your Favourites list as well / instead of.
The third component of a solid update method: Fin's AddOn meta-site has its own RSS feed. This feed gathers the RSS feeds from WoWInterface, WoWUI.Incgamers, and Curse (including CurseForge and WoWAce) into one handy feed.
Links from Fin's RSS feed will take directly to that AddOn's page on their chosen UI site. From there you can view the AddOn's full description, read the Change Log and download the AddOn.
This feed can be incorporated into your Live Bookmarks (Firefox), Favorites (IE 7 & 8, send to your Favorites Bar for best results), or the Feeds menu (Opera 9 & 10). Now that you have added the RSS feed to your browser, you have an easy to use view of all new and updated AddOns from the three major AddOn sites directly from your browser.
When you combine the RSS feeds into your browser, Honem's email update method and the Favorites feature of both Curse and WoWInterface (not sure on WoWUI), you have an extremely powerful, easy to use updater just in your browser. No extra software needed!
Fin's RSS feed integrated into Firefox's Live Bookmarks:
Sure you don't have your "Easy" button to hit for mindless updates, however you do get control over what and how your mods get updated. You will know what is going on at all times, there is nothing arcane, no "funny business" in the background, no worries that your updater will get broken. In addition, using this three part method means that you will always have backups of your AddOns. I have had updates cause my UI to throw chunks. Thus having a backup means I can quickly revert to a working version and then I can get on with the night's raiding, ganking, grinding, or Battleground action.
One other thing: Patch Days. There is an easy way to avoid the Patch Day chaos without resorting to a "One touch updater". Typically, major Patch Days are announced a few days in advance. Usually if one pays attention to the PTR notes, you will get a good idea if and when a Patch is about to drop. Most AddOn authors do pay attention to the PTR notes and Blue posts. Authors who pay attention to the Blues and PTR notes will then release either finished new versions or at the very least, stable betas of AddOns that will work with the new Patch. Thus, you the user, can use the Pre-Patch "calm before the storm" to locate and download updates for your AddOns. Just remember that not all AddOns will need an update to work with a new Patch. I have been using some of Tekkub's mods unchanged for two or three years now. All I have to do to get them to work is tick the "Enable Out of Date AddOns" check box.
The three part system of Email, RSS feeds, and Favorites will greatly help in locating these updates. Download the updates, stash em in a folder and then come Patch Day, unzip and drop your updated AddOns into your AddOns folder. By using this method, you will save your favorite's AddOns site's bandwidth come Patch Day and yourself a few headaches. This method is like using a Pre-Paid toll transponder at the tollbooth. By using that transponder, you can drive past all the drivers who have to stop and throw money into the bin because they did not pay ahead of time.
I roll with 88 addons. I haven't had to update any of them in the past two weeks, and that was just for SellFish. A few of the addons have had new versions uploaded, but the old versions I have still work, so I do not feel the need to update them. Should they stop working, I'll know where to find the updates because I have all of them favorited. :D
The exception to lack of updates is Pitbull 4, an alpha. If I come across a bug or problem, then I'll only be hindering development by posting a bug report based off an outdated version.
I like the premise of the OP's thinking; but the reality is that some addons just seem to break more easily than others. I have some addons that have been running perfectly for months and I'm very much of the thinking 'if it aint broke dont fix it'.. so they've not been updated for ages and wont be until they break or the mods have some shiny new feature I want.
On the other hand, of those mods I use some seem to be updated all the time with bug fixes and optimisations etc. QuestHelper is an example, Dr/Mr Damage as well. These kind of mods I'd really want to be bang up-to-date though, so in those cases I'd use the addon updater to keep them in check.
Or are they broken as in a little bit inaccurate ?
If an addon is broken then of course you're going to update it. That's a given. So you update them.
But with these mods that get updated all the time with bug fixes and optimisations ? What are the consequences of not updating ? And of those "bug fixes" which ones are actually effecting you ?
What I'm trying to get it at here is it's possible for a bug fix and/or optimisation to never effect you as a player. For example :
Mobspells r56 "Fix deleting mobs"
I don't use that part of Mobspells. So I didn't download that update.
You don't have to download every single version that an author comes out with. Examine the change log then make an informed decision. But you should always consider "is it working fine for me or not"
I really don't like Blindly installing new versions of things without knowing what changes they are going to bring. Is this new version going to change something in the addon fundamentally ? Well if so I'ld like to know what that is.
IMHO doing this "examine the change log" thing should be fairly simple to do with an updater client - Both the Curse client and the wow interface client have an option for looking at it.
I guess with all this rambling I'm just trying to convince you that you don't need to update every single day :D
Not only do I take advantage of the WoWI favorites feature, but I go a couple steps further. Firefox saves all of my add-ons to my desktop where I conveniently have a short-cut to my add-ons folder. After I have downloaded all of the updated versions I use WinRAR to extract them. This is as easy as going down the list alphabetically (that's how WinRAR sorts them) and drag/drop them into the add-ons folder.
To make the process even easier, I have WoW Interface set as my homepage. For add-ons not found on WoWI, well I think there's only one and that's CT Mod which is most likely getting replaced by something hosted on WoWI. Ever since I started using Bartender and Carbonite, I find the only thing I need from CT is the buff mod.
I use 30-35 mods and even on a day when all or nearly all of them have been updated, it only takes me 1-2 minutes to complete the entire process.
I challenge you to not update your addons every day but once per week. Go for a week without updating your addons and report back with what your experience is like :D
The consequences I can see ?
Questhelper - It might have the wrong locations for stuff. Easily solved with alt-tabbing to Wowhead :D
Dr/Mr Damage - Those show how much your spells hit for on the icon for the spell right. Ok then the numbers it shows on the toolbar might be a bit out.
Deadly Boss mods - they're past the major bugs stage and are currently working on minor bugs.
Go on ! Take my challenge :D (you're allowed to limit it to 4 days not updating if you're scared :D)
I think at this point in the game, after WAU was out for so long as well as many other one-click updaters, people have this addiction to updating their addons.
They see that whatever addon they're using gets an update and they need it. It doesn't matter what was changed (code clean up, library update that really doesn't affect end users (or shouldn't) at all, or localization updates). It doesn't matter if the addon worked completely fine before; they need to update it because it's available.
I've said this before; there are only two reasons you should ever update an addon:
1) There is a bug that is hindering the addons function and there is an update that fixes this bug.
2) The author has added a new feature that you want to try and test.
The cold hard truth of this is; there are very few times that either of these things will ever occur.
The only time this should be broken is if you're testing an alpha quality addon and updating it every time an update has been pushed is essential for debugging and assisting in the development of the addon.
I had another group of thoughts while I was trying to go to sleep last night
I've seen this argument come up a lot :
"XX addon is unstable therefore I MUST update EVERY day so I can prevent it erroring in the midde of the raid"
People seem to have this irrational fear of being assaulted by red errors in the middle of a Maly Raid.
They're so scared of what happens when an addon bugs so I think thats another reason for their "must update every day" attitude.
People you don't have to be scared of addon errors.There are there to help you and the addon authors debug their addons.
If you install Bugsack or any decent error grabbing addon this will actually capture those errors so you can look at them later. Bugsack can sound an alarm *once* then never bother you again. You can even set Bugsack to never sound at all - that way when you go to use an addon and it doesn't come up then you can go check the errors (BugSack has a little bag icon on the minimap)
If an addon's going to bug out it's usaully going to bug out that same way every time you do something. There'll be a concrete series of steps you take in order to get the bug to come up. If you know what causes it then you're in a much better place to get it fixed.
If it bugs out in a Raid and you can't just hide the errors tell your Raid Leader "sorry my dps/healing/tank's going to be a little off tonight my XXX addon is bugging out and i cant seem to fix it". You then logout and disable that addon. If you're Raid is kind enough that might even give you advice on how to fix it (download & install this , /console reloadui etc etc etc). Once the raid's over you look into fixing it.
Now if your UI isn't bugging out and you haven't changed anything then it's logical to assume that lt's not going to explode in red errors. If something was working before then you shouldn't need to download any updates for it.
PS I've personally not heard of any addon that's so unstable that it needs updating every single day. If it's unstable then you find a way to fix it so it's not unstable (other then blindly updating it every day)
Actually, scratch that.
Anytime an author feels they should be getting out something to the public that's new with their addon.
This does not imply that you should go out there and download every addon update there is for your addons. Neither does this imply you shouldn't download any addon updates at all.
Just that it's not necessary to keep doing this every single day when your UI doesn't have a single thing wrong with it.
Fin was telling you not to feed him. ;)
/me huggles Fin
Most addons that I use usually contain new stuff with every update (eg. LightHeaded, Atlas, AtlasLoot, Overachiever etc.), but I still take my time to go to addon page and read the change log, because I'm just that curious and want to know what has actually changed.
In my opinion, the problem some people might have with updating addons weekly and not daily is that they have "pokemon" syndrome - must catch them all. They feel the urge to have the latest version of their favorite addons, even if those new version do not contain anything useful for them ("updated .toc", "added koKR localization" etc.) just because that version exists. I used to update my favorite programs a lot, before I found out that "new version" doesn't always mean "better version". I don't mean that new versions will contain more bugs than old stable version, but the new functionality (or lack of the functionality you used to love) might be not exactly the way you want to interact with software. For example, I did love Auctioneer Suite pre-3.0.2 post interface and I never got used to the Appraiser interface, so I just had to switch to a more simple addon, but I still keep using Informant, which is a part of Suite and a standalone addon.
Still, I do check for updates daily and I download most of them, if changes seem somewhat useful to me. I'm definitely not scared about wiping at Malygos because of the addon, as (a) I'm using stable versions of addons and (b) I don't let the addons do that much stuff for me, so that if addon fails, I will not know what to do.
How about we turn this around a bit...
Why do you, the OP, feel the need to try and coerce people to do things your way? What do you feel you're losing by wowinterface releasing an updater, and allowing people to have an easier method of addon updating?
I truly understand your position, and if it works for you... Great! But, updating addons is not a zero-sum proposition. You can do it your way, I can do it mine... either way, the adverts are going to be displayed and wowinterface/curse/whatever is going to continue to get the revenue they need to support the site, or they will move to a different model.
To clarify - please don't feed me after midnight, or expose me to water. Also bad: bright light! Bright light!
However, that said, I don't see any reason why people shouldn't update their addons on a near-realtime basis, as long as they do it without any detrimental effects to the people who're providing them with the addons in the first place (ie, the addon hosts, and the addon authors). Sure, there's severely diminishing returns on effort spent updating, and doing so will inevitably result in a net increase in time wasted, but hey - you could say the same thing about WoW itself (a lot of my friends do!); the point is, why not.
I say this because I myself (or, I do when I'm actively playing WoW, at least) have a pretty healthy addiction to keeping up to date with addons: I update every addon before starting the game at least once a day. I've used most all the one-click updaters at some time or another and have tried out (and stuck with a few of) a whole shitload of other methods of keeping up-to-date (eg: email notifications, RSS feeds, SVN checkouts, manual checking, diffbot, custom scripts, etc.). I even made a a website to help me (and others) achieve this more easily without stepping on anyone's toes.
So, with that in mind: I completely understand the joy of keeping all your addons on the bleeding edge; and also the pain associated with the loss of a notably efficient and effort-free way to accomplish this (and the moans that are a result of this). But that's life, man.
In conclusion: you're right it's not necessary to pay so much attention to updates, the people who want to update constantly are also right, berating them about the fact that they're wasting their time is right, it's right that addon hosts shouldn't be abused - which makes it right to address situations where they are abused, thus everyone is right and there's no issue here anymore. Right on!
 Diffbot: the RSS feed for sites without RSS! Trés handy.
 In the entirely selfless interest of informing users about additional benefits my site (wowmods) offers, I feel it my duty to alert anyone reading this that it's also a handy-dandy place to search for addons (currently holding information on 10783 addons), and you can even integrate update information directly into your Google search results! (or add a gadget to your iGoogle homepage, if you have one). Woo, yay, etc.
 Hi Seerah!
i think the OP is trying to clear up misconceptions about updating addons.. IE if you dont have the ablsolute latest release of an addon its out of date and unusable...
i my self dont regularly update my mods... cept for one.. AtlaslootEnhanced and thats because new lewts are being found and added for ulduar :D
other than that the way i have been updating my addons is this...
i like to browse the latest addons here on WoWI... to see what kind of new mods are made.. and i look at updated mods to see what they are doing now even if i dont use them... occasionally i run across a mod that i do use and check it out to see if the changes are important enough for me download...
generally i up date a mod or two every other day.. again depending on if i need it or not.. there have been times where i went nearly 2 weeks without updating a mod.. and nothing i ever had was broken...
i guess it just really boils down to personal preference... but there are people out there that seem to think that if they dont have an auto-updater, that manually updating mods is unbearably painful... its really not..
i will prolly use the new Minion updater in about the same fashion im updating now... browse and reading the change logs :D
Updating manually is painful IF you have this compulsion to update every addon every day. Which as has been stated is not just unnecessary but in my eyes downright laughable.
Nothing wrong with having an updater do your installs for you. I personally plan to use it from time to time.
As has been said and is the overall point of this topic, you do not need to update daily for everything you have.
1) Update if its broken
2) Update if there is a compelling reason (read: bug fix, new feature) beyond " ooooh shiny there is a new version number so i obviously need to have it to be current!!! **froths at the mouth**" Your welcome to do it how you like. Keep in mind the consequences of this action as there are bound to be many folks using the same logic.
3) Use what ever method you prefer from the sites you get your addons from that are allowed. Be it manually. An updater. Osmosis. Telepathy. UPS. FedEx. Bacon transfer apparatus or whatever.
Everyone is entitled to handle the situation as they see fit within the constraints of the TOS of the various websites they use. How you like to handle it is your business.
While i dont personally see a reason to update constantly (276 primary folders including all the modules of individual addons, ballpark of 225 ignoring modules) and i do visit the sites daily for news and various other bits its very VERY infrequent that any of my addons have an update. Let alone a significant one.
I write this thread after the continuing furor that came about from the wow matrix block.
People have become addicted to thinking they need to download every single update out there for every single addon they have. They used to do it manually , found it hard then found out about Wowmatrix.
Now it's almost like their updating muscle has anthrophied - Wowmatrix gets taken away and they can see no alternative methods of updating. They feel like they've been cast back to the dark ages in updating their mods and they get mad!
My thoughts were if I get them to figure out the fundamentals of why they should be updating I could get them to change their minds about the source of why they were getting mad - wow matrix gets taken away and now they have no way of getting their addons updates simply and quickly.
I should emphasize that while i dont necessarily agree with updating everyday and do indeed find it silly. In the end its the users call. The point of this thread should be to educate the uneducated on this subject of is it actually necessary. Sadly i'd bet most of those folks wouldnt see this topic anyway. Live by the updater, die by the updater so to speak.
There will be folks that fully understand that they dont need to update every day.I believe Fin falls in to this category. For some they are aware and still choose to do so and that is a choice that we all need to respect even if we dont understand.
Anything beyond educating people on the subject (for those that are not aware how addon development works) its just a personal debate on beliefs. While i may not share Fin's view on the subject i can respect the choice.
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