Merlin New version notification system - 公告 - AsusSmart Router Blog
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Merlin New version notification system

公告 bingge 2016-12-03 936 次浏览 个评论

Hi everyone,

I didn't have time to finalize it for 380.63, so it will finally appear in 380.64. An often requested feature: the addition of new version notification within the webui. The system will be mostly based on the same code Asus uses for their own notification system, with a few changes:

1) The check will be made against my own server, rather than against's Asus's server (obviously!)

2) It will notify you about new version, and will let you see the changelog (like with stock FW), however it will NOT allow you to automatically download and install. Instead, you will be pointed at the main download site. You will still need to download and flash like before. This is both for security and performance reasons (too many security variables involved in providing such a service, and I'm not willing to get into that kind of responsibility).

3) The option will be opt-out (while Asus's own is hardwired and cannot be disabled). I chose opt-out rather than opt-in because the goal is to help protect more casual users.

4) The ONLY information received on my server will be your IP address (which is for technical reasons - you will be connecting to a web server to download a manifest file, so the web server will know your IP, just as if you had visited with a web browser). I will have a privacy disclosure mumbo-jumbo published on the Wiki soon (it's written, just needs to be published), for people still worried about that sort of thing

Things that remain the same as with Asus:

1) Checks done automatically every 48 hours (with a few hours of variation to spread out the load)

2) Can manually initiate the check from the Firmware Upgrade page

3) Changelog will be shown after a check if a new FW is available

4) The notification area at the top of the page will show a flashing exclamation mark if an update is available

5) Both Release and Alpha/Beta versions will be looked for (you have to opt-in for Beta releases)

I will soon publish a few early alpha builds (like usual) with this new feature enabled, so to start doing load and reliability tests. I might publish a few "fake" new versions on the update server so to trigger notifications, to test out the whole system. I will start the usual [preview] thread at that time, however I'd like all feedback as well as discussions related to this specific feature to be located in this thread here, to better focus that specific area.

One feature I considered but decided against implementing at least for now was pointing you directly at the correct model on the download site. The reason I decided against this for now was for privacy reasons, as it would mean you would be disclosing your actual router model (currently, zero information is being sent) when connecting to the update server (which would redirect you to the download folder on Mediafire). I admit it might be a nice convenience however, and would also help me better figure out which models are most popular among users. Thoughts?

Note that the result of these tests and the gathered feedback will determine the final fate of this feature. If any major issue (such as server load) appears during that test, I might end up disabling that feature, and re-evaluate things out.

I'm posting this a bit early ahead of the release of the first test builds so people can begin discussing things (I already announced the new feature on Twitter a couple of days ago).

Thanks everyone!


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