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  • Hi, I just read on wpcandy about unattended upgrades beeing a feature that might be integrated into one of the coming wp releases – that was very nice to read, because recently I was looking for some good solution for unattended upgrades and was quite surprised not to find one good solution.

    I would like to throw some ideas in:

    Unattended automatic updates (at least for security fixes) will be a great improvement and are absolutely needed to avoid security problems with many sites run by the average user which is not checking his wordpress site for updates every day. Also too much human work force is lost with millions of people clicking on an “automatic upgrade” link – all these hours could be spent more useful! Implementation of this feature, however, should be really something wp devs should think more than twice about. Some ideas:

    A) ROLLBACK must be possible, in case things break.

    B) checksums should be used to have control about the files, that are updated – if $file has been modified, leave it alone, bt send mail about problems.

    C) there are already a few really brilliant update workflows in use – take a look at these and do not reinvent the wheel. Apt-get comes to mind – this could lead to some great ideas about how the source code (and plugins) repositories could be integrated into the process in a meaningful way.

    D) GIT – what else are updates than a pull of a remote branch? Using git as a backend for updates could be a very good way to built a rock solid update infrastructure – this would be also very easy for developers to work with custom code and to integrate into their workflows – having one stable upgrade branch would be very easy to handle for every wp hacker.

    E) Plugins – well, of course core developers can not be responsible for bad programming found in plugins, however some precautions could be taken. Maybe a good error-handling api would be a solution for plugins that break the code execution – something like

    if error in plugin occurs
        disable plugin and send notification email to admin
        but continue with upgrade, at least the security fixes

    Strict usage of these error-handler of course should be propagated to plugin devs.

    Worst case would be to see some wp specific code hackery that ignores the open source wisdom that already has been collected with software deployment – please build upon what already is known to work well and do not release some kind of half-baked feature into the world that might bring more problems than solutions…thanks!

    Hopefully you have already had the same ideas and wp unattended upgrades will be best of breed open source upgrade workflow ever 🙂

    Thanks for your attention!

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