17 Jun 2009

Eclipse and Updates

Eclipse is a great tool as a Java IDE and also an excellent plateform for application development (nothing new here).

But I've always found the software update system "awkward".

Not on the technical side, as explain by Benjamin Cabé: Déployer avec Equinox p2 [fr], the technology behind it is good, it's even more than just a "plugins updates" system.

But from a usability point of view I think they could enhance it much more, for example:
  • I would never expect it to be in the "Help" menu
  • Automatic updates could be "on" by default (see how firefox pushes update automatically), I suppose expert users would turn this off but for "Average Joe" it's a diferent story
  • I found the "software list" scary, I keep asking myself
    "Do I really need to update so many things?! I'm pretty sure something will break..."
    I think it would be better to hide it or group things in big categories like "update eclipse (core)", update spring plugin" etc...

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