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NeoOffice :: View topic - Shorten/reduce 15-step Upgrade/Install workflow
Shorten/reduce 15-step Upgrade/Install workflow
 
This forum is locked: you cannot post, reply to, or edit topics.   This topic is locked: you cannot edit posts or make replies.    NeoOffice Forum Index -> NeoOffice New Feature Requests
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Do you agree or disagree that this would be a good improvement?
strongly agree
50%
 50%  [ 1 ]
agree
50%
 50%  [ 1 ]
don't care
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
disagree
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
strongly disagree
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Total Votes : 2

Author Message
johnwardale
Blue Pill


Joined: Sep 24, 2011
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 12:03 pm    Post subject: Shorten/reduce 15-step Upgrade/Install workflow Reply with quote

Thanks for all your FABULOUS work! I love Neo-Office, but I have one complaint which is that the [frequent] updates and patches take WAY TOO MANY clicks and actions to update the product.

Many systems detect and auto-download, then update with ONE to THREE clicks or actions:
Any streamlining improvements to shorten or reduce the current 15-step Upgrade/Install workflow would be great!
[Note that I'm writing this because I assume that if this annoys me, then it probably annoys a LOT of users. ... and I just donated $25 so I could add this here!]

The First improvement could be a fast/default "accept all & update with previous selections" followed by the [apple] Password entry in the installer itself.

The Second improvement would be for the the Neo-Office update detector to download the update, and launch the installer with an option to auto-trigger the button-action above ... now you just Agree to the download, any agree/password actions required by apple and/or GNU, and all the rest is done automatically.

A wise man once said:
"Any IN-sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from hard work!"


For your reference, here are the 15 steps CURRENTLY required to update Neo-Office:

Opening Neo-Office essentially "complains" that you should install the newest version, which requires the following steps:

1. Download disk image (dmg)
2. Open same
3. Agree to run SW from the Internet [OK, this is from Apple, not YOU GUYS, but it's still a required user action.]
4. Open Package (pkg) to launch installer
5. Continue to allow checker program to run
6. Continue to start the ACTUAL install
7. Continue over "ReadMe"
8. Continue over "GNU License"
9. Agree to the freaking license [This should REALLY REALLY be part of the previous screen!]
10. INSTALL button (skipping the option to changing install location)
11. Enter Password to actually DO the install [I have no issue with this, and suspect that Apple requires this, not you.]
12. Wait for files to actually be installed.
13. Close to end the installer process
14. Now you're left with the following cleanup (after switching to the Finder.App):
15. Close the PKG finder window
16. Eject (Unmount) the DMG file

I can see that this would OK for a first-time install, especially for the "Custom" option, but you-all need a fast or streamline or default install workflow, especially for all the updates and patches!

I think that Neo-Office requires the most actions to install of any SW I have on my Mac, and since its so useful, and updated moderately often, this becomes more and more annoying each time I have to install it.
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sardisson
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Joined: Feb 01, 2004
Posts: 4588

PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steps 5-13 are dictated by Apple's Installer.app and are the same for all apps using packages, so there's not really any optimizations that can be made to remove the bulk of those steps, unfortunately.

Smokey

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pluby
The Architect
The Architect


Joined: Jun 16, 2003
Posts: 11857
Location: California, USA

PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would like to break this new feature request into the separate groups of steps that I have used when I developed the installers and update process over the last 8 years.

Steps 1 - 3

I think it might be feasible to tweak the existing patch update check code to download the .dmg file and use the "hdiutil" command to mount it from within the NeoOffice code if enough other donors also want to see this feature.

We would not be able to do these steps for new releases since that requires login to our download site from a real web browser. But I don't see any major problems with downloading and opening patch installers.

If another 5 or so donors post that they would like to see automatic download and opening of patches, I will investigate implementing these steps in NeoOffice's patch update check code.

Step 4

While running the installer is feasible, I am very reluctant to implement this step for one reason: NeoOffice must be quit to install an update. While this may not be a big deal for a web browser like Fireforx where editing is minimal, based on my 8 years of experience handling NeoOffice support I believe that automatically forcing NeoOffice to quit will likely to lead to many cases of unsaved document changes. And, in my experience, when users lose unsaved changes to their documents, it generally results in lots of angry posts.

The above is the primary reason that we emulate Apple's system update process and wait for the user to explicitly start the installation process: it minimizes the likelihood of unsaved changes.

Steps 5 - 13

As Smokey mentioned, the bad news is that steps 5 - 13 are set by Apple's Mac OS X installer tool.

The good news, however, is that Apple has a command line version of the installer tool that you can use to bypass all of the mouse clicks required by the installer tool. Once you have opened the downloaded .dmg file, launch the /Applications/Utilities/Terminall application, type the following command in the Terminal application window, and press the Return key:

Code:
sudo installer -pkg \
/Volumes/Install\ NeoOffice\ 3.2.1/Install\ NeoOffice\ 3.2.1.pkg -target /


Patrick
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johnwardale
Blue Pill


Joined: Sep 24, 2011
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, this is all about patches and sub-version updates [as a user, if it's NOT a major version change, then it's must another "update" that I wish was handled automatically like the apple SW update process.]

So, yes, I like your auto-download idea, and I agree that a force-close (at least if you have edits pending) is a problem ... tho in Lion I think the new Apple-way is to always save, and user file-versions to get back to older versions. [yes?, maybe?, no?]

In light of the no-force-quit, how about doing the download and dropping a sentinel that would trigger the actual update the NEXT time you launch NeoOffice? ... Usually when the new-update available comes up, I download it, then do what I wanted to do in Neo-Office, then run the update AFTER I finish whatever task I needed NeoOffice for.

Finally, steps 5 thru 19 are 1 or 2 steps for MOST other installers, and Apple needs to "wise up" about automatically re-using the existing installed code.
-- or --
Does Apple only expect the full Installer to be used the 1st time, or maybe for "repair", and expect Updates to come separately like Apple updates do?

Finally: Any change of using the Mac APP-STORE to distribute NeoOffice, in which case I think the updates would be come automatic, right??
[Let me guess: Licence issues or it's "rejected" by Apple.]


PS:
Thanks for the fast and informative replies to the first message!
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sardisson
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Joined: Feb 01, 2004
Posts: 4588

PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can write an AppleScript applet/droplet that, given a .dmg file, invokes 'hdiutil' to mount it and then runs 'installer' (I knew there was such a beast, but not whether it would bypass all the prompts without being given additional options, etc.) to install the patch, and then hopefully cleans up after itself. (And, if enough donors request support for automatic downloading and mounting of patch .dmgs, the tool can be smart enough to find the mounted update .dmg and use that directly, skipping the hdiutil step.)

I'm not sure if I'll have time today, but hopefully sometime this week.

----

That said, I'm generally supportive of auto-download of the patches, but one of the reasons I figured NeoOffice always just opened the patch web page (besides being easier) is that when there are two supported versions of NeoOffice available, the update window in the older app has always returned information about updates for the newer versions, so actually going to the website allows users to download the right patch for their version. I'm sure that's fixable; I just don't know how much engineering work is involved…

Smokey

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pluby
The Architect
The Architect


Joined: Jun 16, 2003
Posts: 11857
Location: California, USA

PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smokey,

Assuming that there is enough interest, one idea that I had was to remove the use of the default browser completely and, instead, use our existing NeoOffice Mobile embedded Safari code to open a floating window, display the patch download page, and when the download completes, invoke the hdiutil command.

johnwardale,

The idea of running the installer on next launch is a good idea. I do not know yet how much effort is required to implement it, but I do know that the automatic download and opening of the .dmg file would be needed so I would like to first focus on the install and restart idea after we get some feedback on whether or not at least 5 donors want an automatic download and opening of the .dmg file.

At this point, I should explain our process for handling new feature requests like. Since our donation levels only supports me full time and Ed part time, we use the following approach to select which new features to implement and set the scope for those that we do implement:

1. Based on our rough estimate of the engineering work required, we set a certain minimum number of donors to post that they want the requested new feature.

2. If enough donors say that they also want the requested new feature, then we have a reasonable amount of confidence that the new feature will eventually get paid for by donations from the next version of NeoOffice so we begin implementing the new feature.

3. When we have the initial scope implemented, we put out test patches so that interested donors can test the new code and find if the new code breaks anything.

4. Once donors stop reporting problems in the test patches, we put the new code in an official NeoOffice patch to widen the number of people using the new code. Any problems reported by donors are then fixed in later official NeoOffice patches.

Since your proposed new feature would be a fairly large change to both the patch update code process, I would like to break your request into two separate new feature requests:

1. Implement automatic downloading and opening of the .dmg file (only 5 donors need to post to get this started and we have 2 so far).

2. If the above gets implemented, then the next new feature request would be to run the installation of the downloaded update silently like the command-line installer with only a dialog or two (e.g. "Do you want to install the lastest patch now?" and "Enter your adminstrator password"). I do not know yet how many donors would be needed yet for this new feature.

Lastly, regarding the Mac App Store, NeoOffice (as well as OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice) will always be rejected from the Mac App Store because they all use Java and Apple states that they will automatically reject any applications that use Java.

Even if we could use the Mac App Store, I don't think it would be a good idea as Apple would take a 30% cut of all donations and we would need to pass on that substantial cost to our donors.

Patrick
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djpimley
The Anomaly
(earlier version)


Joined: Jun 11, 2006
Posts: 481
Location: Great Britain

PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm all for simplifying the update process if it can be done in a way that is helpful and intuitive, rather than just creating more confusion. In other words, more Sparkle and less Clippy. Razz

An ideal solution for me would be: download of the pkg directly from the NeoOffice update prompt to Application Support or some other appropriate filesystem location, then prompt to install on next launch of NeoOffice.

I'm certainly in support of Patrick exploring the options.
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sardisson
Town Crier
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Joined: Feb 01, 2004
Posts: 4588

PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pluby wrote:
use our existing NeoOffice Mobile embedded Safari code to open a floating window, display the patch download page

What would happen for people who have removed the NeoOffice Mobile extension (I'm not one of them, but I remember there are a couple of threads here where people have asked to do that and you provided them with the command line invocations to do so)?

Smokey

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pluby
The Architect
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Joined: Jun 16, 2003
Posts: 11857
Location: California, USA

PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sardisson wrote:
pluby wrote:
use our existing NeoOffice Mobile embedded Safari code to open a floating window, display the patch download page

What would happen for people who have removed the NeoOffice Mobile extension (I'm not one of them, but I remember there are a couple of threads here where people have asked to do that and you provided them with the command line invocations to do so)?


Let me clarify as I worded my post badly. I would use embedded Safari as a built in browser similar to how NeoOffice Mobile uses embedded Safari. That allows the existing patch update web pages to work but adds the ability to write custom code to do processing immediately after download of a .dmg file completes.

NeoOffice Mobile shipped as an extension so that we could add menus to the Mac OS X menubar. However, since we will not need menus for the patch update case, I can create a separate floating Safari window directly within NeoOffice's existing patch update code.

The embedded Safari browser may sound like an odd way to implement this feature, but the browser is there to preserve the "what is new" communication function that our patch download page provides.

Ed and I believe that such communication is critical as very few donors try out test patches and Beta releases so we push most significant changes via patches to mitigate the limited amount of testing that we and our donors are able to do.

Specifically, our current process allows for the possibility that a critical bug is in a patch and will not be found until 10,000 or more users have installed the patch. With the lag that manual installation provides, we have been able to fix those bugs and put out another patch before a full 500,000 users install the latest patch.

Patrick
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sardisson
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Posts: 4588

PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pluby wrote:
Let me clarify as I worded my post badly. I would use embedded Safari as a built in browser similar to how NeoOffice Mobile uses embedded Safari.

Ah, that makes perfect sense; the other meaning of "code reuse" Wink

Smokey

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genr8r
Blue Pill


Joined: Dec 14, 2011
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 10:18 am    Post subject: strongly agree!!! Reply with quote

I wasn't sure how to add my vote to the poll up top. Hopefully this post is adequate.

Before ever stumbling across the feature request forum, I have thought that a dramatic simplification of the patch updating process could be the basis of a freemium model for NeoOffice. The current "there is an update available" nag is the perfect place to ask non-contributors to pony up for a donation.

Those that do donate get the auto-updater process and would never see the nag. Every time that "update available" pops up I think to myself, "what would I pay to make updates to neooffice a 1-click process. Just the chance to request this feature prompted me to donate $25.

That said, I am long overdue for the donation. Sorry it took so long and thanks to the developers for years of work in providing a great open source office suite for the mac. I will happily continue donations for a long time to come.
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pluby
The Architect
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Joined: Jun 16, 2003
Posts: 11857
Location: California, USA

PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 10:55 am    Post subject: Re: strongly agree!!! Reply with quote

genr8r wrote:
I wasn't sure how to add my vote to the poll up top. Hopefully this post is adequate.


Your post is adequate and I think we are getting close to having enough donor votes to start implementation work on this.

genr8r wrote:
Before ever stumbling across the feature request forum, I have thought that a dramatic simplification of the patch updating process could be the basis of a freemium model for NeoOffice. The current "there is an update available" nag is the perfect place to ask non-contributors to pony up for a donation.


As a result of the current funding model - you donate $10 for a year for the downloads of the latest installer - you will still have to log into our download site to download a new version. So for new releases we will display the download site in a floating window similar to the NeoOffice Mobile floating window. Upon successful login, the .dmg file will be downloaded and automatically opened.

Since there is no login requirement for patches, the login step is not required so the floating window will automatically proceed to the .dmg download.

As I mentioned in a previous post, we will not run the installer silently as this would require the installer to forcefully quit NeoOffice and our worry is that while that may be OK for most users, it will inevitably result in lost data for some people and we really do not need to add that type of risk for our users.

One other restriction that prevents silent installation is that NeoOffice must be installed and updated by an administrative user. That requirement cannot be removed for a variety of reasons so, at a minimum, the NeoOffice update process will require administrator login just as the Mac OS X system update process does.

Patrick
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ovvldc
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Joined: Sep 13, 2004
Posts: 2352
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the suggestions made here are pretty good.
Download and extract from NeoOffice, and run the installer quietly on the next startup. That would save a ton of hassle.

Thumbs up!

best wishes,
Oscar

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pluby
The Architect
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ovvldc wrote:
I think the suggestions made here are pretty good.
Download and extract from NeoOffice, and run the installer quietly on the next startup. That would save a ton of hassle.


Thanks for reminding about the "run the installer quietly on the next startup". That really is a simple step that we can implement without forcing people to quit NeoOffice.

I will start working on this new feature this week and I will post test patches as I implement each of the 3 steps that Oscar listed so that people can test my code while I am implementing the next step.

Patrick
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sardisson
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pluby wrote:
ovvldc wrote:
I think the suggestions made here are pretty good.
Download and extract from NeoOffice, and run the installer quietly on the next startup. That would save a ton of hassle.


Thanks for reminding about the "run the installer quietly on the next startup". That really is a simple step that we can implement without forcing people to quit NeoOffice.

Isn't that going to cause problems for people who aren't quitting NeoOffice frequently? I.e., /tmp and the temporary files are cleared once a week (by the weekly job?), so if someone lets NeoOffice download the patch and unpack it (as Oscar described it), say, the day before "temp-cleaning day" and doesn't quit NeoOffice until after that day (or quits but doesn't restart until after that day), there'll be no patch files to install.

Or are you implementing the mechanics for this differently?

Smokey

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