[tbb-dev] Tor Browser updater behavior

Mark Smith mcs at pearlcrescent.com
Sat Oct 11 11:16:18 UTC 2014

I want to share a couple of updater-related things with everyone:

1) There is a minor user experience change in ESR31-based browsers:  an 
update check is performed as soon as the about dialog is opened (there 
is no longer a need to click a "Check for Update" button).  I think this 
is OK.  With the preference settings that we ship with, users will then 
be told if an update is available and then they will need to click a 
button to download and install it.

2) Once someone is on a particular update channel, they will stay on 
that channel unless they download a new browser package (outside of the 
update process) that is built for a different channel.  We could modify 
code to change this behavior, but it is what Mozilla does and I think it 
makes sense (MAR file generation skips the files 
defaults/prefs/channel-prefs.js and update-settings.ini).  This means 
that when we release 4.0 (which will be on the "release" update channel) 
we could, if we want to, also upgrade alpha users to that same set of 
builds.  Then, as soon as we deliver a new alpha release, we can upgrade 
only those users who were and remain on the alpha channel to the new alpha.

Mark Smith
Pearl Crescent

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