Privacy and Compatibility in Software Updates
Keeping software up-to-date can be hard. Ideally, you want to ensure you have the latest features, security patches, and bug fixes in your app.
The problem is, this gets very difficult:
- Making sure your dependencies allow a matching version for other applications’ dependencies
- Getting users to stay up to date
- Doing update checking and downloading in a privacy friendly way
My general rule of thumb is:
- Allow a recent range of versions for each dependency. Allow back as far as possible.
- Make your CDN not log IPs.
- Apply security headers.
- Require minor updates that will take >2 minutes to be installed, so people are at least somewhat up-to-date.
- Make sure your downloads page includes almost no JS, so the link can’t be modified.