[Go Faster] Do we want system add-ons to update without restarting?

Dave Townsend dtownsend at mozilla.com
Mon Sep 28 17:54:16 UTC 2015


On Mon, Sep 28, 2015 at 6:53 AM, Laura Thomson <lthomson at mozilla.com> wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> Excuse my late appearance in the thread: I am anaphylactically
> allergic to long mailing list arguments.
>
> On Sat, Sep 26, 2015 at 8:26 PM, Robert Helmer <rhelmer at mozilla.com>
> wrote:
> > On Sat, Sep 26, 2015 at 3:55 PM, Richard Newman <rnewman at mozilla.com>
> wrote:
>
> >> Putting on my devil's advocate hat: if we don't allow system add-ons
> some
> >> way to upgrade without a restart, and if — as I've heard — the system
> add-on
> >> approach doesn't really buy us faster turnarounds for chemspills, is it
> >> worth doing all of this work?
> >
> >
> > I had assumed we were talking about this as a temporary measure, but I
> > could read it the other way too.. Dave did you mean never doing
> > restartless, or going forward now and figuring it out later?
> >
> > I agree that restartless updates is a key reason to implement system
> add-ons.
>
> Restartless updates for system add-ons are generally a Good Thing in
> my view. They help fight update fatigue by doing updates in a more
> transparent way; we don't have to wait for the user to restart which
> as noted could be an unspecified period of time; and there's an almost
> magical quality to them.
>
> However, I don't feel like we need all system add-ons or all updates
> to be restartless. It could be a property of a particular add-on
> (always restartless/never restartless) or particular updates could be
> marked as "needs restart".
>
> We have other options that I see, also:
> - Notify the user of an update that has landed and requires a restart.
> This could be done for all updates (not preferred) or for critical
> updates (security or stability). We currently tell users they have a
> new version of Fx downloaded for train updates, so they are used to,
> but anecdotally irritated by this. I also know that Spotify do
> continuous deployment requiring restart, and that, also anecdotally
> causes update fatigue, but doesn't hold them back at all;
> - Notify the user daily that some updates have been downloaded and
> offer restart to apply them (bundling updates);
> - Force a restart during an idle period, daily (or on whatever period)
> - this could also be something we offer to the user, in the interest
> of preserving user sovereignty. "Restart nightly to apply updates?" or
> whatever.
>
> What I'd like to do here is engage with UX/User research. We may be
> able to get some actual data on our users which can help us decide.
>
> That shouldn't block us from moving forward on the back end: we don't
> have to solve this first, or solve for the optimal case first. We have
> a thing that will work (non-restartless for now) and can build on it
> once we know more.
>

Ok what I'm hearing here is that for now we're fine to leave it with
requiring a restart and that we can revisit later when we have better UX
involvement.
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