What Does The Autopatcher Team Need?
Posted 17 July 2009 - 07:55 PM
First off, I'd like to thank all current and former maintainers of Autopatcher for their dedication, hard work, and expertise.
I have noticed that the project has several maintainers who have retired and are no longer active. I was wondering what we the users of Autopatcher can do for the team. For example, help maintaining APUP scripts, Autopatcher scripts, hardware needs to test Autopatcher, server/bandwidth/mirroring needs, etc.
May I ask what language(s) APUP and Autopatcher are written in? I was thinking that since they have stayed at versions 1.05 and 5.6.81 for a while now, perhaps there might be a few people proficient in the required language(s) who may be willing to help out. I did notice the minor updates that took place this week, and they are working great so far...
Do you think that open-sourcing the code for Autopatcher and APUP might encourage more people to come on board?
I also wanted to know what the team's plans are for the future should 64 bit Windows overtake 32 bit a year from now. All the hardware has been 64 bit for some time, and some systems are starting to ship with a 64 bit OS. What would be required of me should I want to take the Vista SP2 script for x86 and use that as a basis for reviving the x64 branch? The hotfix numbers would be the same, right? So all I'd need are the URLs?
Windows 7 is scheduled for release on October 22. If we can get a maintainer, would Windows 7 be supported at some point in the future?
Thanks in advance!
Posted 17 July 2009 - 09:32 PM
> what language(s) APUP and Autopatcher are written in?
VB6, but that is valid to the .exe files only.
> Do you think that open-sourcing the code for Autopatcher and APUP might encourage more people to come on board?
maybe. but the code for booth belongs to Antonis...
> 64 bit Windows overtake 32 bit a year from now
for sure. but we don't have the hardware to run it, because we don't replace our machines too often. for some of us, the licensing process and the hardware upgrade is very expensive. for some of us, update the hardware that still runs fine enough just to be able to run another OS that basically will do the same that we do right now doesn't sound an good thing. but of course, when our machines die or when we get tired of our machines, we will update it, also everybody does
> What would be required of me should I want to take the Vista SP2 script for x86 and use that as a basis for reviving the x64 branch?
basically, time and patience. of course, some reading on this may help too
> The hotfix numbers would be the same, right?
not quite right. i know that there's at least one issue with IE8 that happens only in vista x64. so, there's not an update for vista x32 with the same number
> So all I'd need are the URLs?
well, one way to take the url, the md5 and size from the update and take the proper detections for each update.
> would Windows 7 be supported at some point in the future?
no, unless the autopatcher.exe be updated or, in the advent of the RTM version of Windows Seven, the detection for the OS begins suddenly to work again. for the RC version, when you run autopatcher on it, you will get this log:
Detected English (1033)
Internet Explorer: 8.0.7100.0
Windows Media Player: 12.0.7100.0
.NET Framework: 2.0.50727.4918|2.0SP2|3.0.30729.4918.4918|3.0SP2|3.5|3.5SP1
Windows Installer: 5.0.7100.0
Microsoft SharePoint Designer:
there's one important thing missing: the detection for the OS himself. an proper detection should be something like this:
Detected Portuguese (1046) Windows XP Professional Service Pack 3
Internet Explorer: 8.0.6001.18783
Windows Media Player: 11.0.5721.5260
.NET Framework: 1.1.4322|1.1SP1|2.0.50727.3053|2.0SP2|3.2.30729.01|3.2SP2|3.5|3.5SP1
Windows Installer: 4.5.6001.22159
Microsoft SharePoint Designer:
without the infos about the OS, like is showed in the 2nd log, we can't do anything, because we will be unable to restrict the modules to work on that OS only. so, without Antonis update the code for apup (since only him have it), we will just be part of history, like our domain will be (but also seems that NASA has removed all the certificates in name of an domain...)
Posted 17 July 2009 - 11:17 PM
We did attempt to get a few new faces in here but for whatever reason they ultimately decided they did not have the time, which
we understand, so we had to cease work on AutoPatcher releases we simply don't have or cant run ie; x64 based OSes, Office etc.
I'll be brief with My Opinions using your questions in no particular order.
Let me make one point up front - We don't want any talk about moving forward without a real desire to help out. We spent a few
months doing this recently but it produced nothing - it was a waste of our time for the most part. We don't want to repeat this. We
ask anyone wanting to help out to first decide if they really want to contribute and then offer a length of time, any where from 6
months to a year, assuming no major crisis within our personal lives of course.
outdated script. I'm presently doing this for XP x64 but I'm not able to test, I only have the OS on disc and I presently don't have the
hardware to install it. I am trying to go back to March / April of this year to see what has been removed or replaced since the XP x64
beta script was abandoned. The best way is to have the OS installed. I hope this also explains the hardware needs, you just need a
system that can adequately run the given software of the script being updated so the proper detections can be put in place (within the
"apm" file). Then, by using MU/WU or the TechNet Security Bulletin to determine what updates have been added, updated, or removed.
for interaction within a larger user base but if the program should go underground and only a few people choose to communicate
back and forth, well, email would work. I say this because I personally don't know what the future relationship will be with the
existing group. I have asked "how do we plan to communicate (if at all) should we loose the forum", I'm not sure at this point. To
be honest, I didn't figure a particular person would leave the project without some explanation but they did. For sure we will need
a web presence to provide apup.zip and some support, and to be able to interact within the base would be nice too. Also, you can't
overlook the importance of the larger user base (this is how most improvements are made) we need their input for sure.
be looking into developing something very much based on AutoPatcher & APUP (with full credit given within the app) but using Python
- it's free and well supported. Also, I'm trying to find Visual Basic 6 as well but dont want to spend any money on unsupported and
The scripts are very logical in their order and purpose, you would simply need to edit the script in the same fashion. The proper
way is to look at either MU/WU or TechNet for the given OS (I would not assume x86 is exactly like x64 - you may miss something)
don't forget you will also need detection information for the "apm" files you will be creating.
great work and purpose with AutoPatcher (this is what I meant above - credit given within the app). I don't care to reinvent the
wheel I just know I want / need an application like AutoPatcher albeit under some new name -> PatchAutoerPup
Note: As I'm writing I can see Cristiano has posted but I will post my thoughts as well (an hour and a half later).
Posted 18 July 2009 - 08:46 AM
Thanks for your prompt replies. I apologize for not noticing the x64 scripts going away...has been a CraZy week =P.
Hardware and Software Requirements
As far as hardware and software are concerned, since I'm due for a severe hardware/software upgrade, I can certainly spring for a new setup upon which to develop/maintain/test Vista x64.
Server 2008 might have to wait until the end of this year due to the $600 price of the OS alone. For future reference, I'd like to ask about the Server2008 branch:
1: If I had the scripts done and bug-free, then downloaded all patches with APUP, would I be able to use it on a non-R2 release as well as the R2 release?
2: Would the patches for SBS2008 be different than Server2008?
Anyway, getting back to maintaining the x64 Vista SP2 (and maybe SP1 if needed for a while)...
I Have The Latest x64 Scripts...
I downloaded the x64 branches for Vista SP1 and SP2 beta just before they were taken offline, and tried the SP2 branch a couple hours ago while setting up a new Vista x64 machine for one of my clients....I got an error message, and for the life of me I can't remember what it was...I'll be sure to grab a screenshot tomorrow =)
64 Bit Transition Is Happening Now...
While perusing the machines at two different stores, I noticed that the transition to x64 is well underway, with many machines now shipping with x64 Vista.
I'll peruse the documentation in the nova.zip file Cristiano linked me to, and master the art of updating .apm scripts and anything else required. As an IT professional with 20 years desktop experience, this should be fairly simple to accomplish...
Time and dedication are no problem. Let me get some practice down over this weekend and once I get the hang of it, I can commit to a 6 month stay, with the hopes of being able to renew of course =)
If bandwidth/server needs arise in the future, I have some options:
1: I have a Dreamhost account with unlimited bandwidth and disk space that could come in handy as a mirror.
2: Wim Leers' Driverpacks (www.driverpacks.net) gets TONS of traffic and he is using a Content Delivery Network (CDN). As our bandwidth needs warrant expansion of our current capabilities, I can look into which CDN might best suit our needs and budget.
3: Since we cannot include the actual patches due to MS licensing, all we have to worry about are APUP, Autopatcher, and the scripts. I don't know if such a small amount of data like this would warrant hosting .torrent files for these, but it's a possibility.
Should the need arise, we could setup a bug tracking system such as Trac, mantis, or bugzilla (all open source and free to use).
I think gUiTaR_mIkE's idea for a new generation of APUP and Autpatcher written in Python would be fantastic, esp. if it could use the existing script layouts. Also, when Windows 7 hits the streets on October 22, I would hope that adding that detection would be a fairly simple project. Even if we go the python route we could possibly keep the Autopatcher name and have APUP functionality integrated, plus the ability to slipstream hotfixes into an XP/Vista install CD if we talk w/ Antonis...perhaps the new Python version could have the rights shared equally between gUiTaR_mIkE and Antonis as Autopatcher 6.0? I'd also suggest using the open source wget utility fron the GNU project, whcih is typically used in UNIX/Linux environments but has successfully been ported over to Windows. NSIS (nsis.sf.net) has many capabilities which might come in handy and is also open source.
Finally, there is another project called Windows Updates Downloader a.k.a. WUD (www.windowsupdatesdownloader.com), and I think that program from my experience may be a tad more stable than APUP...plus it filters based on language with the UI being better IMHO... Maybe the developer would be willing to collaborate with us on a possible merger of the two projects or a shard shared source setup between the two projects? If not, perhaps we could acquire a branded version of WUD with the autopatcher logo and credit given to the WUD developer.
As for WinXP x64, it seems like a pretty rare OS to me, but might be warranted for resurrection since it shares the same code base as Server2003 x64.
Donations & Fundraising
I'd also like to suggest a more prominent donation button for the site, as the link is rather tiny on the left hand menu. Might I suggest something like this at the top right of the web pages where they can be more visible:
www.isohunt.com has code telling visitors how much in donations have been receive that day.
Google Adsense might be able to bring in some regular revenue to support development costs, while making sure the ads are not too intrusive. A corporate sponsorship could provide PC hardware and copies of Windows, bandwidth, and/or operating capital.
Finally, it would be nice to have an x64 version of the Addons for Windows, for however many apps as possible (I know Java supports x64, but apparently, flash does not.
On a side note, Adobe Reader was taken offline due to a security flaw. Now that the latest version is 9.1.2, do we know of any outstanding security issues, and can we expect to see this addon resurrected anytime soon? Are there any new modules the community would find useful for the addon packs that I might be able to work on, such as audio/video codecs, antivirus/antispyware applications, or utilities such as 7-Zip?
Posted 18 July 2009 - 12:44 PM
for sure you will find something. we had to do sp2 blindly and we us to have an major issue in here: just a few users report something concerning an flaw in the install process. since some time ago, i know that windows installer 4.5 is the exact same version for every country in the world. the md5 for the file himself matches for all countries, but for some weird reason, the detection for it changes for every country and nobody had notice that for months. for sure, there's someone running an english version of windows in every single country in the world, and yet, no one had noticed that...
> Now that the latest version is 9.1.2, do we know of any outstanding security issues, and can we expect to see this addon resurrected anytime soon?
not due our time. also, there's another problem. 9.1.2 is an update only. the 2 updates for this one has about 20MB in download size. the main version himself (9.1) has about 23...
those are updated too often and time has become an issue long ago
> audio/video codecs
videolan solve all that alone
i don't remember why this one was taken offline
> Bandwidth Needs
226139833 KBytes was the max Bandwidth usage in the last year. for the other months, it was close to that
> if we talk w/ Antonis
i'm trying talk with him for months about several other issues that require updates for autopatcher.exe. so far, no answer
maybe, but there's an major problem: we don't have control over the donations, but someone has, because the donors page is updated from times to times. plus, the forum himself has to be updated and we can't do that, because this board was build with an paid software that requires an license to update it. plus: the ones that have the rights to do that have vanished...
Posted 18 July 2009 - 11:47 PM
noticed he hadn't said much about the bug reports - the app not wanting to start, which is the problem I had with it.
or if my software isn't supported - XP x64 will run everything I'm working with just fine. Vista seems to me more advertising
with a need to spend more money on hardware, what are the real benefits of Vista - I'm not sure? Windows 7 might be worth
the effort - don't know.
The fact that "updating" has become more time consuming than actually recording music for me, I may resort to using a simple
script to install updates. I want to get back to actually using my computer for what I had intended it. Regardless of what happens
at AutoPatcher I will attempt to integrate features from AutoPatcher and APUP into a single app only because I want to learn Python
but I originally wanted to use Python to develop an audio app.
Anyway... I would say start with updating the Vista script since you have the OS and are familiar with it and can test the detections.
Posted 19 July 2009 - 11:43 AM
So Vista x64 SP1 Autopatcher worked great, and I then installed SP2. I ran Autopatcher for Vista x64 SP2 (beta), and got the following:
VERIFYING RELEASE INTEGRITY...DONE
GENERATING TREE...NO COMPATIBLE ITEMS FOUND
So I figured that perhaps I downloaded the wrong files w/ APUP, but I have looked at the files in the modules directory and everything seems fine. I would re-download the Vista x64 SP2 branch to see if that would work, but that branch is offline =(
I tried to run autopatcher.exe /log /verbose but no log file was generated.
I also checked to see if I had the actual APUP scripts and I did not, so I downloaded releases.list and opened it in NotePad++ to get the URLs for the other APUP scripts. Since the x64 releases were taken offline, I can't grab the Vista SP2 x64 script and SP1 x64 script for APUP. Unless someone has those files, I could try generating a new release from scratch =P
Any tips on why AutoPatcher is giving me the 'No compatible items found' message would be helpful.
I am reviewing the developer documentation and hope to be a module development master very soon...
Posted 19 July 2009 - 01:13 PM
-KB955430 WAS MISSING
-windows_components.apm, windows_critical.apm, and windows_noncritical.apm were missing
Now I'm going to apply these fixes to the apup scripts. If possible, I need the x64 APUP scripts for Vista x64 and Server2008 x64 that were taken offline.
You can count me in for maintaining Vista x64. I hope to come on board for server 2008 x64 soon.
Posted 20 July 2009 - 06:47 AM
I also plan on getting a few items from Addons ported to x64, such as Java, .NET, etc. These will come in handy as many new systems are shipping with Vista x64 SP1...for some reason, they haven't started shipping with SP2 yet, even though it's available for download on Microsoft's site (it probably takes a while to sell all the SP1 systems and have the vendors test SP2, build new install DVD's/HDD restore images, etc.). By the time new systems do start shipping with SP2, I hope to have Vista and Server 2008 x64 SP2 ready. If help is needed with bringing the x86 versions of SP2 for Vista and Server 2008 out of beta and into production status, I will be happy to lend a hand.
Posted 20 July 2009 - 11:12 AM
> x86 versions of SP2 for Vista and Server 2008 out of beta and into production status
vista x32 sp2 is being done by Domenico. i don't know the status of it. his nick in here is dkdk_it. i believe that this link will allow you reach him, at least, by pm
Posted 29 July 2009 - 02:44 AM
So far, so good. But that was without adding the updates since the scripts were discontinued. I'm working on updating/testing everything and plan on everything being ready for Fri, Aug 14. I'd release earlier, but Microsoft Tuesday is the 2nd Tuesday of each month, and if I release on the 5th, for example, everything will be obsolete in a couple days. Plus, since this is my first development venture w/ AutoPatcher, I want to perform extra checks and make sure everything works right.
Once the August updates are released, I hope to port some of the items from the Addons packs to x64 for the ones that are available, such as Java Runetime Environment (JRE)...
If anyone wants to test my work as it progresses, let me know, and with permission from the maintainers I can release an updated beta early August...
Cristiano & Guitar_Mike, let me know what the release policy should be...I certainly don't wish to break the chain of command =P
x64 shall live again very soon.
Posted 29 July 2009 - 11:34 AM
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