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Re: [ide-dev] A "releases/latest" URL in the IDE to ease upgrades?

Two things:

a) I would expect that Eclipse could upgrade to the latest - hence I agree in principle.

b) the ecosystem to Eclipse is in no way shape or form able to handle major version updates -
thus I disagree in practice to include i.e. Neon into Mars release.

Your expectation about good management of dependency versions we know from JBoss Tools and our attempt to get a build running for Eclipse next release just never works.

It does for the base platform, but very rarely beyond that.

I think it would be great if eclipse could somehow know a new major is out and suggest the user to try and update by adding a known updatesite to it - but I would not make it automatic.



Today I had to assist a user in upgrading from Luna to Mars. He didn't do it so far because he was a bit lazy to re-download a package and re-install all his favorite bundles. I told him about the upgrade, ant the first thing he tried was "Check for updates", that didn't work. Then he had to look for help on Google to do the upgrade. He reached a StackOverfow post that was not very positive about Eclipse IDE, but that drive him to the solution of adding and enabling the releases/mars URL and then trying Check for Updates successfully.
IMO, there is one lesson to learn from this user story: some users expect "Check for updates" to provide updates.
I believe in order to provide that, it's mainly a matter of creating a releases/latest URL that would reference the latest release and be updated whenever necessary, and to enable this URL in Eclipse EPP packages by default.
Now the question is more: "Is this something we want to do?". For the plain Eclipse IDE user, I believe it would be profitable since updates would be more accessible. The doubt remains on the plugin providers: in case they don't have their content ready for the next release when it happens, then it means that user can reach a worse state when they update, because of those 3rd-party plugins. However, good management of dependency versions should be able to spot that and at least show an error (with remediation) when trying to update.

What do you think it best: auto-update to new major, or expect users to do the steps mentioned above to adopt the latest improvements?
Mickael Istria
Eclipse developer at JBoss, by Red Hat
My blog - My Tweets

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