Author Topic: Program updates  (Read 5674 times)

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EagleGhost

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Program updates
« on: September 08, 2011, 04:37:53 PM »
I have noticed that Avast hasn't offered installing the program updates with 5 and 6 versions. It only updates the definitions automatically. It did that program updating offer with the 4 version. The option "Offer me, when program updates are available" is checked. Is that normal? Manual updating by clicking the button "Update the whole program" worked.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2011, 04:39:54 PM by EagleGhost »

ady4um

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Re: Program updates
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2011, 05:02:32 PM »
This was reported several times during 2011, but it was always "denied" by Avast Team members (or not answered at all).

I can confirm that the distribution spreading of new program versions is much more extended (even for months, effectively skipping some releases) than it was in the past (couple of weeks after the new release).

In all reported cases, the manual program-update was successful. The main GUI of Avast indeed displays that a new version is available, but the tray notification is delayed, sometimes for months, as well as the automatic program update.

Offline DavidR

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Re: Program updates
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2011, 05:08:18 PM »
Well after a period of time avast would stop giving update notifications for avast5 (assuming you missed the initial ones) as avast5 hasn't had a program update in some time, e.g. since avast 6 was released. We also don't know what version of avast 5.x.xxxx you were using, if that was a beta build, that to could be a factor.

I also don't know if you have set the Program update to Manual, in which case you wouldn't get any program update is available pop-up.

There is a subtle difference in that avast 4.8 is effectively obsolete and they are going to end support for that at some time (sooner rather than later) so they are pushing to get people to install avast6.
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EagleGhost

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Re: Program updates
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2011, 05:17:49 PM »
Quote
Well after a period of time avast would stop giving update notifications for avast5 (assuming you missed the initial ones) as avast5 hasn't had a program update in some time, e.g. since avast 6 was released. We also don't know what version of avast 5.x.xxxx you were using, if that was a beta build, that to could be a factor.

I don't remember the exact version, but I'm sure, that it wasn't a beta version. Avast 6 has also did this.

Quote
I also don't know if you have set the Program update to Manual, in which case you wouldn't get any program update is available pop-up.

No, "Offer me when a program update is available" is selected. I told this in my subject above.

Offline DavidR

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Re: Program updates
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2011, 05:24:30 PM »
Unfortunately I rarely wait for Program update notifications to test that feature (as is probably the case for most forums regulars), as having taken part in any beta testing as soon as the program is released I do a manual update.
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ady4um

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Re: Program updates
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2011, 05:26:59 PM »
@DavidR,

Avast 5.x should notify also about Avast 6.x This was a "continuation" or natural "upgrade" if you want. It doesn't really matter if this is on Avast 5 or 6. The "months" delays are clearly happening. Most frequent users of the forum won't notice this because most of them are using the manual program update almost "immediately". "Normal" users indeed have noticed this issue and it has been reported several times (but no improvement yet).

Offline DavidR

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Re: Program updates
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2011, 05:48:44 PM »
Which is basically what I said, I can't confirm as I don't wait. I am proactive with my security software (and many others) if I haven't had an update for a while I manually check. I don't wait.

EagleGhost, was participating in topics back in April where avast6 was mentioned in the topic. And even referenced a Post titled "Avast 6.0.1000 - file transfers interrupted between Vista and XP" and participated in a topic in March, titled "Avast 6, does it still have problems with itunes?"

Even in February he was aware of avast 6, colour me confused as to why he waited so long:
Is that fixed in 6 version?

Even took part in "News about avast 6... well, not so new... Some of them could be fantastic!" in January 2011, so we really have to take some proactive action rather than wait 8 months.
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EagleGhost

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Re: Program updates
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2011, 06:15:41 PM »
Which is basically what I said, I can't confirm as I don't wait. I am proactive with my security software (and many others) if I haven't had an update for a while I manually check. I don't wait.

EagleGhost, was participating in topics back in April where avast6 was mentioned in the topic. And even referenced a Post titled "Avast 6.0.1000 - file transfers interrupted between Vista and XP" and participated in a topic in March, titled "Avast 6, does it still have problems with itunes?"

Even in February he was aware of avast 6, colour me confused as to why he waited so long:
Is that fixed in 6 version?

Even took part in "News about avast 6... well, not so new... Some of them could be fantastic!" in January 2011, so we really have to take some proactive action rather than wait 8 months.

???

Anyway I ask can the automatic and manual update operate at the same time causing confusion?
« Last Edit: September 08, 2011, 06:17:15 PM by EagleGhost »

ady4um

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Re: Program updates
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2011, 06:24:24 PM »
we really have to take some proactive action rather than wait 8 months.
You already know this is not the case of the average target user. I am not talking about 1 specific user. IMO, the important thing I am trying to bring up is that the program update notifications need to be improved. Too fast is not good, but "months" after the release is not good either.

I actually have a "conspiracy theory" :). I think that the real problem (for such a big delay) is not related to Avast servers and costs of distribution. I tend to think that the problem was (is?) that Avast 6.x was having too many conflicts to distribute it to "all" users. So Avast Software decided to release one version to part of the servers, take care of the conflicts during a couple of months, release a new update to some other servers... I'm not going to get into the pros and cons of it. In the end, it is only a "conspiracy theory" and nothing relevant :).

As I said, bottom line: the program update tray notifications need improvements.

Offline DavidR

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Re: Program updates
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2011, 07:31:22 PM »
The text you quoted of mine is equally applicable of all users, not just of avast but all security software, we have to take some responsibility and proactive action to ensure that software is up to date. If for no other reason problems occur, or as they say sh*t happens.

I honestly don't know where you get this conspiracy theory from and why it would still be going on 8 months later is frankly daft. The avast update servers are all contained in the servers.def file (hundreds of them) so there is no restriction on what servers are accessed.

The update process also selects servers based on server load to balance the load across all servers. For your conspiracy theory to possibly work then there would have to be a restricted servers.def file distributed across the avast user base. The servers.def file is also verified/checked so would require changes in older versions to actually bypass this check.
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ady4um

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Re: Program updates
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2011, 09:17:23 PM »
@DavidR,

Being proactive is most of the times a good thing. The point is that most of the average users are not. That is the main reason for most security tools to have an automatic update option. And the bottom line is that nowadays we all depend on other users to be safe too, so we can avoid most malware distribution to get to our own "proactive" :) systems. This makes the program update tray notifications to have some importance in our security tools.

You are taking this "conspiracy theory" too serious. Although I have "explanations" (in the context of this crazy theory) to your questions about it, I have no intention to expand that item. It would "hurt" the real issue here.

As I said, the only important thing in this topic is that the program update tray notifications need much improvement. To be clear, the tray notifications themselves are OK. The problem comes from the servers.

The servers listed on the user side are not important in this context. If a sever is not activated to distribute a new program version, then the user contacting it would receive only the databases.

The servers can be "programed" or schedule to provide updates in a "slow" manner. A (theoretical) example would be to distribute the program update only in 50% of the cases, prolonging the period of time that the program update get to all users.

In fact, the methods and or reasons are not so important to me as a user. You say you are surprised that after 8 months the delays are still happening. Well, they are. This is the real issue to be improved.

Offline DavidR

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Re: Program updates
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2011, 09:23:35 PM »
Then why even mention conspiracy, if you don't want a response to your theory then don't mention it (as people are going to read it anyway and rumour runs rife). As you say concentrate the real issue as you call it.

But then you go on to expand your theory.
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ady4um

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Re: Program updates
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2011, 09:55:17 PM »
Then why even mention conspiracy, if you don't want a response to your theory then don't mention it (as people are going to read it anyway and rumour runs rife). As you say concentrate the real issue as you call it.

But then you go on to expand your theory.

About rumors, you are correct. My apologies. About going on to expand my theory, I don't think I did.

Let's separate the issues. The crazy conpiracy theory is about the "real" *reasons* to extend the distribution cycle, from about 2 weeks to the current several months. To be clear to all those potential users reading, so to stop any crazy rumors, the above writing about the reasons is just a theory. It was only born from my imagination, and I have no real indication of any kind that the sited reason for the delays is the one I already mentioned. Not at all.

The rest is a different matter. You stated that severs are listed in a file. I only answered that the list is not important in defining the distribution cycle, and I said that in fact this is not important. This is NOT part of my theory.

But now about the fact, no conspiracy, no theory, no imagination and no half-explanations. The distribution cycle for program updates using the program update tray notifications (BTW, the default setting) is too long, and this has been happening for several months now, and is still happening. This needs to be improved.

Offline kyuuketsuki_kurai

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Re: Program updates
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2011, 09:08:02 PM »
I noticed this yesterday. I don't do the betas, and I opened my avast! last night to find that the GUI said there was a new program update, but even though it was set to notify me, it didn't.
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ady4um

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Re: Program updates
« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2011, 09:20:27 PM »
I noticed this yesterday. I don't do the betas, and I opened my avast! last night to find that the GUI said there was a new program update, but even though it was set to notify me, it didn't.

Generally speaking, that's normal. The distribution cycle can (and should) take some time. The problem is when the program updates cycle is several months. In such case, a user is using an "old" version, and the program update tray notification has not been seen for the last, say, 3 program releases. For the record, this *is* happening and it is not an assumption.