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05-10-09, 01:09 AM   #1
Bluspacecow
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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 ?

No.

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

http://fin.instinct.org/wowmods/

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.

Finally

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
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