Firefox version 4 was out in the spring, then version 5 in early summer, and we just got version 6.
And Chrome, which seems to have its own slightly different updating methodology, keeps up as well.
It's not that the updating software is stupid; as Jeff Atwood points out, the vendors have put a lot of effort into this and the updates are reliable and fast.
But there are significant annoyances to the updating process:
- All too frequently, updates come with re-boots, and re-boots are quite disruptive. It's not just the 10 minutes that the reboot takes, it's that they disrupt the flow, that special arrangement of my computer and work environment that I've found, over the years, makes me extremely productive.
- The updaters also desensitize me to security questions. They're constantly asking me to type my password, and to approve changes to the system, and the point is that you want these sorts of requests to be rare, so that people actually take their time and think before they respond.
Oh, well. It's clearly vastly better than the bad old days, when we used to run unpatched versions of software for years without updates.
I just wish I could ratchet down the annoying-ness of the automatic updates process just a little bit.