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nightly updates for Komodo (and the Komodo AUS)

Monday, 03 March 2008

I and others here have been hard at work on Komodo 4.3 (due to go final this week) so it has been a while since I've posted. One thing I've wanted to post about for quite a while is the Komodo auto-update system. I alluded to it waaay back when working on adding auto-update support to Komodo 4.2 but haven't written anything about it since.

Last Friday gives me good reason to post about it: We now have a "nightly" channel for Komodo Edit!

Update (4-Nov-2008): Nightly updates should not work for Komodo IDE as well!

Komodo Auto-update channels

There are three Komodo auto-update "channels":

  1. "release": This is the typical (and default) channel for installations of a final release of Komodo (e.g. 4.2.0, 4.2.1, 4.3.0). On this channel, Komodo will only update itself to the latest final Komodo release.

  2. "beta": This is the typical (and default) channel for Komodo alpha/beta builds. On this channel, Komodo will update itself to the final or pre-release (i.e. alphas and betas).

  3. "nightly": This is a channel that I finally got working on the server-side on Friday. Since the announcement of OpenKomodo and open sourcing of Komodo Edit we've been doing "nightly" builds of Komodo Edit (built on most nights :). These are publicly available here: http://downloads.openkomodo.com/komodoedit/nightly/

As of last Friday, if you are on the nightly update channel Komodo Edit will update to the latest nightly build. These are quite a bit more burning-edge that the "beta" channel. Often the only criteria for putting up a nightly is that the build worked for all platforms. So, occasionally some features are broken -- though I think we do pretty well.

This channel is quite new for us though, so there may be some growing pains in the first couple of weeks. Please let me know if you have any problems with it. I think it will be pretty cool to easily always be running the very latest Komodo Edit.

At this time we aren't yet doing public nightlies of Komodo IDE.

Setting the update channel for your Komodo installation

Currently there isn't a prefs panel in Komodo to tweak auto-update settings -- such as the channel you are one. There should be. I hope to get one in sometime after 4.3.0.

To set your Komodo channel edit "channel-prefs.js" in your Komodo installation as appropriate. On Windows and Linux this file is here:

INSTALLDIR/lib/mozilla/defaults/pref/channel-prefs.js

and on Mac OS X here:

INSTALLDIR/Contents/MacOS/defaults/pref/channel-prefs.js

It is a very simple file that looks like this:

// Valid values are "release", "beta" and "nightly" (internal-only).
pref("app.update.channel", "beta");

Happily that "internal-only" is no longer correct for Komodo Edit.

Update (4-Nov-2008): Ditto for Komodo IDE now.

Other Komodo AUS Stuff

Komodo's auto-update system, on the client side (i.e. the app), pretty much just uses the excellent Mozilla auto-update system. On the server-side we have our own (very simple) Django-based update server. On the build-side, we have our own Python scripts (mozupdate.py et al) for building all relevant partial and complete update packages as part of full builds.

I hope to post more about our AUS server and about our build tools. I think I could fairly easily package up our tools to provide a possible answer to Mozilla Bug 415181 (Package the MAR generation tools for easy external usage).

There used to be an open bug (found it: Mozilla Bug 375752) to convert some of the Bash shell scripts for Mozilla update package building to Python scripts. I see (by way of Mozilla Bug 410806) that that has at least partially happened with make_incremental_updates.py.

Tagged: install, komodo, activestate, mozilla


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