[plt-scheme] Version Check

From: Matthias Felleisen (matthias at ccs.neu.edu)
Date: Thu Apr 27 07:42:53 EDT 2006

On Apr 27, 2006, at 2:37 AM, Jim Blandy wrote:

> On 4/26/06, Jim Blandy <jimb at red-bean.com> wrote:
>> On 4/26/06, Anton van Straaten <anton at appsolutions.com> wrote:
>>> Matthias Felleisen wrote:
>>>> Ethics: In the spirit of modern commercial OSes, I consider it 
>>>> perfectly
>>>> okay to go out on the Web occasionally and check whether there are 
>>>> patches.
>>> The "Microsoft does it, so it must be ethical" argument?  :)

This is about as well-reasoned as "Microsoft does it, so it must be 

>> Well, Fedora does it too, with the Red Hat Network checks.

How about this: Reasoning software engineers understand that complex 
systems, such as PLT Scheme [OS X, RedHat Linux, Windows n, etc] are in 
constant need of care. If left to their own devices, they will "rot" 
and may eventually cause harm. It is therefore imperative (pardon the 
word) to occasionally update them. Everything else is unethical.

> And now that I think of it --- this raises an important point.  If you
> do decide to make the checks automatically, be very obvious about it,
> the way RHN's icon is, or more so.  Pop something up that says
> "Checking Web for DrScheme updates".  Do something to deflect the
> impression that the check is surreptitious.

I love this idea. This little pop-up may even have a button with 'Don't 
bother!' on it.

Thanks. -- Matthias

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