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The dangers of automatic updates

Posted by: Anonymous [ip:] on September 16, 2007 01:45 AM
I happen to be a proponent of choice in software, and I believe that an intelligent and reasonable default is the way to go. I happen to think that going with the Debian or Fedora or Slackware update as the default choice is the way to go, particularly for inexperienced users or busy users who do not have the time to research every update.

On the other hand, I do believe that having the option to disable blind updates should always be available and the experienced administrator should always have that choice. However, i do feel that the default ought to be to simply go do it.

Clem from Linux Mint seems to feel that blindly taking the default is no longer a good thing. Perhaps he has some solid reasons, but without completely appreciating what they may be, I respectfully disagree. I think you should have the OPTION to turn off running the enitre set of updates, and the OPTION to sift through them, accepting this one, rejecting that one. Even so, the default ought to be JUST DO IT. Most people have neither the time nor the energy to research them. For the most part, the application owners are in the best position to make that call. If you have enough information to dispute their opinion, then you should use the OPTION. But I contend that making the standard approach to do the update is the best way, keeping the flexibility there for those that don't. Make it easy for the novice, not easy for the experts, who know what to do anyway. Feel free to disagree. I think multiple APPROACHES is what makes free software so useful and so valuable.
Brian Masinick


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