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From Rob Weir <>
Subject Re: Poor user experience with update of extensions
Date Tue, 20 Aug 2013 15:51:47 GMT
On Tue, Aug 20, 2013 at 11:04 AM, Jürgen Schmidt <> wrote:
> sorry for top posting
> I would like to continue the discussion on this topic because the user
> experience is quite important here.
> What do others think and would it be possible to change it into a direct
> download instead of the extension web page.

If we can do it over SSL then a direct update of extensions would work
well.  But I think that unsecured HTTP would lead to troubles.  It
would enable the same vulnerability we patched in AOO 4.0 related to
updates of the main application.

Maybe we should allow it to work either way:  Extension author can
specify a URL of an OXT which is installed directly, or a URL which is
shown in the browser?

Also, we need to remember that SourceForge is making this bandwidth
available for free to extension authors who host their extensions on
SF.  Their business model is to have landing pages with advertising.
They need to cover their expenses.  That is essentially the
arrangement between 3rd part extension authors and SF.     But if an
extension author hosts their extension elsewhere, then allowing direct
download, via HTTPS, sounds good.



> Juergen
> On 8/16/13 10:05 AM, Oliver-Rainer Wittmann wrote:
>> Hi,
>> On 16.08.2013 09:34, Jürgen Schmidt wrote:
>>> On 8/15/13 9:10 PM, Roberto Galoppini wrote:
>>>> 2013/8/15 Andrea Pescetti <>
>>>>> Oliver-Rainer Wittmann wrote:
>>>>>> On 15.08.2013 12:00, Jürgen Schmidt wrote:
>>>>>>> I noticed a changed workflow compared to former days and I am
>>>>>>> redirected
>>>>>>> now to the webpage where I can download the extension.
>>>>>> The update of an extension should work like the update of the
>>>>>> extension
>>>>>> "Watching Window" from 0.4.4 to 0.5.0. ...
>>>>>> For the English dictionary I need to download manually the new
>>>>>> extension. Then I need to install it manually.
>>>>> The exception here is "Watching Window", that uses custom updates. The
>>>>> English dictionary behaves like virtually all other extensions. I
>>>>> give some
>>>>> more details for those who are unfamiliar with the extensions
>>>>> packaging.
>>>>> Whoever packaged the English dictionary back in 2010 made the (right)
>>>>> choice to leave to the Extensions site the responsibility to manage
>>>>> updates. "Watching Window", instead, specifies its own update feed,
>>>>> that
>>>>> lives on Github; but this is a more fragile setup; for example, I've
>>>>> seen
>>>>> countless mentions of this problem (for the OxygenOffice gallery
>>>>> extension,
>>>>> that specified its own update feed but then moved it...) over the
>>>>> years:
>>>>> If you specify (and host) your own update feed, you can choose the
>>>>> update
>>>>> policy (direct or indirect download); if you don't, the Extensions site
>>>>> manages everything for you and you, as the extension maintainer, can't
>>>>> choose between direct and indirect download.
>>>>> So what is under discussion here is not whether the 2010 maintainer
>>>>> of the
>>>>> English dictionary made the right choice in relying on the generic
>>>>> update
>>>>> feed (he did; otherwise I wouldn't have been able to republish his
>>>>> extension and push updates), but is that the generic update feed on the
>>>>> Extensions site is configured to serve updates as indirect downloads
>>>>> and
>>>>> not as direct downloads.
>>>> The indirect download approach could be used to communicate with
>>>> end-users
>>>> through the landing pages. May be this is something we might want to
>>>> explore to outreach our user base.
>>> could be but I think it is not wanted in this specific context. The user
>>> simply want the already installed and used extension get updated.
>> I agree here with Jürgen.
>> The user was/is already in contact with the extension website -
>> otherwise she had no had the to-be-updated extension. We have the link
>> to the extension website in the Start Center. This could be extended by
>> something like 'news about your installed extensions' or 'other useful
>> extensions'.
>> But, here the user just wants to update an installed extension - having
>> it 'indirectly' - as currently implemented - is a hurdle. Keep in mind
>> that a user has typically more than one extension installed which is
>> using the 'standard' update mechanism from the extension website service.
>> Best regards, Oliver.
>>> A useful enhancement to the whole managing of extensions is indeed the
>>> possibility to browse extension online. That was planned from the
>>> beginning but never realized because of some reasons that are no longer
>>> relevant.
>>> The same for templates, allow easy access to the online available
>>> templates, allow to mark favorites, allow offline usage of them etc. And
>>> most important make it configurable that it can be redirected to an
>>> internal template or extension repository. Many companies want more
>>> control about the things users can install or not
>>> Taking such design into account from the beginning and everything is fine
>>> Juergen
>>>> Roberto
>>>>> Regards,
>>>>>    Andrea.
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