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Edition handling

Posted: Tue May 14, 2019 9:23 am
by scheff
SUMo distinguishes 32 bit edition versus 64 bit edition of the same software tool detected by handling them as if they were different products although often they aren't. Is this a permanent design decision for variety handling of same software tool detected or a quick work around for speedier feature implementation?

There are software publishers who dropped their support for the 32 bit editions and only continue with 64 bit editions. For this reason handling of this kind of variety is important resulting in different expected values for current version. And the actual work-around implementation addresses it successfully. But I fear that such a work-around limits SUMos capacity of handling other aspects of variety of detected software tool version.

Taking as an example the wide spread software tool Microsoft Windows operating system. I don't remember how many editions of this tool exist. There are embedded edition, home S edition, home edition, professional edition, enterprise edition, server standard edition, server essential edition, ultimate edition, data center edition while the former phone edition has been dropped. I'm not sure if I remembered all. Some of them exist in 32 bit and in 64 bit edition while others only exist in 64 bit edition. There is even further variety of these editions distinguishing western (like those with some kind of latin alphabet) and eastern user interfaces (like chinese, japanese, korean or ethopian). And even for the same geographical region, there exist variants due to national monopole regulation, i.e. concerning integration, bundling and choice of web browsers. It seems to me that Microsoft continues to support this variety which may change in the future. It further seems to me that not all updates come onto the market / release at the same time. In effect this results in available updates for some editions while still not available for others. Typically the roadmap for embedded edition is not in sync with other platforms and by intention did not include as many versions as i.e. home editions. How does SUMo handle this complexity of variation?
And how does it want to handle it?

There are different other software tools detected by SUMo which also come with some variety of editions for the same product version. The development platform Delphi used for SUMo development is such an example too, available in community edition and at least three professional editions.

To make handling even more difficult, these editions were often different binaries but not always. Some software publishers like Microsoft and others decided to have different editions in the same binary distinguished while continuing with different binaries for others. With same binary, its often the license used as key to enable or disable corresponding feature sets of the same binary.

In other words, what's the actual state of implementation of SUMo for variety detection and management, the goal of it and its roadmap concerning this aspect?
Will this become a distinguishing capability between Pro edition and basic edition of SUMo?

These questions partially don't concern not only KC Software but are relevant to some users too. Reports of SUMo users for different kinds of variety management may be helpful to see implementation options with advantages and disadvantages for various design decisions as well as to see different wishes and expectations.

Re: Edition handling

Posted: Tue May 14, 2019 6:47 pm
by Kyle_Katarn
32/64 bits differentiation was a strong user request at the early days of SUMo. I'll not rollback on this without a very good reason. I may look at better options for users who want to "merge" both but this is not my priority.

Various "editions" for specific software are adressed on a case by case basis depending :
- on user need / impact
- on technical possibility (based on exe properties, reg info,... which may even not be available)

But thank for your very valid question !

Re: Edition handling

Posted: Sat May 18, 2019 8:12 pm
by scheff
Variety management looks similar to me as supporting different versions. This indicates that enabling better support for different version may provide also the opportunity to improve variety management. As you mentioned in the context of multiple versions, this will require a protocol change and hence become scheduled not before the next major version of SUMo.

Currently, you handle not only the distinction between 32 and 64 bit but also if portable edition although not yet distinguishing if that portable edition uses the corresponding tool in 32 bit or 64 bit or both. PortableApps framework installs both editions of tools like Firefox and Chrome.

As you used the term options this directs you to the place where to configure it. The user shall get the configuration option if he wants to distinguish editions or not. Consequently, such an option may be implemented not before the next major release.

Re: Edition handling

Posted: Sun May 19, 2019 7:14 am
by Kyle_Katarn
Exactly. And unlike 32/64 this distinction require "tailored" detection code (per application). We already do for some products : Firefox ESR, ...