[plt-scheme] Version Check

From: Lauri Alanko (la at iki.fi)
Date: Thu Apr 27 19:47:54 EDT 2006

I don't quite understand even the purpose of this version check feature.
What is it supposed to accomplish?

Actively developed software evolves all the time and new releases appear
now and then. Of this people in general are hopefully aware. Those who
are interested in the latest features can keep track of the latest
releases by e.g. checking the software's web site periodically or by
subscribing to a mailing list. Others (the majority, I suspect) are
content with the version they are using and don't want to bother with
software updates as long as they don't have any problems. Neither of
these groups are served by the version checking feature.

Moreover, there's no point notifying the _user_ that updates are
available, but the _administrator_. In self-administered home machines
the user and the administrator are the same person, but this is not
always the case. And many systems have their own dedicated software
update tools and policies, so it's not something that user application
software itself should be concerned with.

(I already find it a bit distasteful how PLT Scheme tries to live in its
own world and disregards all interoperability with the rest of the
system: a non-unixish "application directory" instead of properly
installing to ${prefix}/bin, .../lib and .../share, a base64-obfuscated
custom package format instead of something that common tools can read...
Version checking would make PLT Scheme act even more like it owned your

I can think of only one situation in which it makes sense for a user to
know whether the software is up-to-date: when encountering a bug. But
then it's no big deal asking the user explicitly for permission to check
new versions.


Posted on the users mailing list.