Web site deficiencies

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Stephen Wise

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Joined: 17 Mar 07
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Message 8836 - Posted: 17 Mar 2007, 18:02:00 UTC

Perhaps this is not the right place to report deficiencies in the web site as opposed to the web interfaces; if so, please let me know the right place.

My Mac crashed shortly after I updated it to 10.4.9, at a time when BOINC was the only active application, so it occurred to me that it might be time to update that software. So I went to the main web site. Here is what I found:

1) No instructions about updating. (Not in the ReadMe file of my current version either.)

2) The menu item "About BOINC Manager" reports that it is version 5.4.9, while the web site download page offers BOINC 5.8.15. Are those two numbers comparable? Is BOINC the same as BOINC Manager, or is BOINC the underlying engine and BOINC Manager the user interface?

3) No dates on the version history page. Knowing the dates tells me whether the current version is newer than what I have. I did find dates buried more deeply, in the "version details" via the "all versions" page.

4) No contact addresses, like a webmaster to report these issues to. Perhaps spam is to blame for that.

Besides that, when a recommended update becomes available shouldn't users get an e-mail notification? Or a "check for updates" button in the application? Or automatic updating?

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Nicolas

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Joined: 19 Jan 07
Posts: 1179
Argentina
Message 8847 - Posted: 17 Mar 2007, 22:53:13 UTC - in response to Message 8836.  

Perhaps this is not the right place to report deficiencies in the web site as opposed to the web interfaces; if so, please let me know the right place.

My Mac crashed shortly after I updated it to 10.4.9, at a time when BOINC was the only active application, so it occurred to me that it might be time to update that software. So I went to the main web site. Here is what I found:

1) No instructions about updating. (Not in the ReadMe file of my current version either.)


Agree with this, I first wondered if I should uninstall previous version first, etc.

2) The menu item "About BOINC Manager" reports that it is version 5.4.9, while the web site download page offers BOINC 5.8.15. Are those two numbers comparable? Is BOINC the same as BOINC Manager, or is BOINC the underlying engine and BOINC Manager the user interface?

BOINC Manager is the user interface, and the client is the underlying engine, but their version numbers match. Exception: if you have BOINC Manager connected to a remote client, their versions may differ. About box shows the manager version. Client version is shown on the first line on Messages tab.

3) No dates on the version history page. Knowing the dates tells me whether the current version is newer than what I have. I did find dates buried more deeply, in the "version details" via the "all versions" page.


Agree, also, the changelog isn't being modified with point releases (that is between 5.8.10 and 5.8.11, you can't know what changed). This used to be there on 5.4.x releases.

4) No contact addresses, like a webmaster to report these issues to. Perhaps spam is to blame for that.


webmaster@domain is the usual way to contact a website webmaster (in this case, webmaster [at] boinc [dot] berkeley...) I don't know if BOINC has that address set up. In any case, it should be displayed on the page, as you say.

Besides that, when a recommended update becomes available shouldn't users get an e-mail notification? Or a "check for updates" button in the application? Or automatic updating?


An email notification would be nice :) Check for updates, and (optional and configurable!) automatic update is already being worked on. In fact the client already checks for updates, but I don't know if it shows them anywhere. Maybe it was just to test the code. On some version I have seen messages (on Messages tab that is) saying a new version was available, again, probably to test the feature, as it's VERY easy to miss the message!
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Eric Myers
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Joined: 12 Feb 06
Posts: 232
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Message 9125 - Posted: 26 Mar 2007, 14:40:35 UTC - in response to Message 8836.  

Stephen Wise wrote:
Besides that, when a recommended update becomes available shouldn't users get an e-mail notification? Or a "check for updates" button in the application? Or automatic updating?


Even if a newer version is available, the older versions still work. In most cases an update is not required, it just gets you improvments.

Each BOINC project can set a minimum version which they require. If your client doesn't make the cut then you'll get a notice in the Messages list. And a project can announce a date when they intend to require a particular version. Again, if this affects you then you'll see a message about it.

There has been some debate about automatic updating. Some people are against it, but I belive also that some kind of capability to make it easier is in the works.
It may not be totally automatic, you might have to push a button to agree to it. But some way to make updating easier would certainly be useful.

-- Eric Myers

"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." -- William Butler Yeats
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Nicolas

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Joined: 19 Jan 07
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Argentina
Message 11298 - Posted: 26 Jun 2007, 19:20:20 UTC

If you're talking about the project websites, just keep the suggestions coming. If you're talking about BOINC official website, you'll like to know that all the documentation is now on a Wiki, so you can create an account and improve it yourself :)
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Message boards : Web interfaces : Web site deficiencies

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