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Setup, update thyself

Given how the process of updating packages using setup.exe can be
handled quite automatically - updates are announced, mirrors catch-up,
and the recent updates can be picked up with a run through setup that
requires no interaction at all except to cycle through the `next's - I'm
wondering how it might be that updating of setup.exe is not itself
managed by this same process.  I am certainly notified if setup.exe is
out of date, which then triggers the manual process of shutting it down,
going to the website, grabbing the latest version and starting again.
Could not this process be integrated into setup itself as "just another
package install" in effect? Notification that setup.exe is out of date -
general package selection is disabled - `Next' etc. downloads setup.exe
as a `package' - automatic restart - continue from here...?

One reason for this thought is that I can envisage environments in
which, whilst internet connectivity is permitted on development
machines, installation and use of a web browser is not, through policy,
say. Outside of this scenerio, there would still appear to be a clear
gain for users generally, making it effectively a complete one-stop

As an add-on benefit this would ensure that setup.exe was always
up-to-date compared to which ever mirror I chose for my updates.
Mirrors catch up at different rates, and there are recorded complexities
added through caching of web downloads in getting setup.exe.  Yet, if
the updating of setup.exe were to become integrated into the package
updating system in this way, this would then at least ensure that the
version used was at least as up-to-date as the mirror I am using at any
one time.  If setup.exe is a version behind the latest available due to
a lag in mirroring, the so is setup.ini.  No more "setup is out of date
on this mirror, but you'll have to wait for server caching to resolve
before getting a new one."  (Perhaps even no more requesting of http
access to setup.exe. Happy days! :)


Paul Bibbings

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