updating apps on mac?

Apprentice
Posts: 6
Joined: 2008.12
Post: #1
I'm a Windows / Mac coder about ready to release an game for the Mac, and I was wondering how people usually update there applications.

On windows, I use an updating installer to replace old dll's with new ones. However, on the Mac, apps are downloaded via dmg's.

This is great, I think the Mac way of download software through disk images is dandy. The problem is that, a disk image is not an installer and if I have to patch my game, does this mean that I have to resend all the original files along with my updates in a new disk image?

What if I only have a few files for my app that I want to update? I would be bloating my update with all the other game files that my user already has!

If I used an pkg for installation, it would make a smaller download for future updates. However, I know that pkg's are not the Mac way, and I was wondering how other developers manage there updates.
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Moderator
Posts: 682
Joined: 2002.11
Post: #2
You'll want to look at Sparkle.

My web site - Games, music, Python stuff
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Moderator
Posts: 452
Joined: 2008.04
Post: #3
I'll ditto Sparkle. It's actually quite common for Mac games and apps.

Howling Moon Software - CrayonBall for Mac and iPhone, Contract Game Dev Work
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Moderator
Posts: 613
Joined: 2004.09
Post: #4
Sparkle is fast becoming standard, however I still use my own class for updating. Whatever you use it is no longer optional to have auto updating in a Mac app, it has become expected.

Kyle Richter
DragonForged.com
Twitter: @kylerichter
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Moderator
Posts: 608
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #5
There's absolutely no reason for not using Sparkle. It's free, open source, and easy.
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Member
Posts: 269
Joined: 2005.04
Post: #6
Haven't used Sparkle, so I can't give my opinion on that (looks cool though).

If your app is small, a new .dmg with the whole version is good enough. If your app is several hundred MB then you can look into something like separating your .app from all the art/sound assets.

A .pkg should really only be used if you have to install multiple files in many places (like extensions, etc). It's rare that you need to do that, especially for games.
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Sage
Posts: 1,482
Joined: 2002.09
Post: #7
kodex Wrote:Sparkle is fast becoming standard, however I still use my own class for updating. Whatever you use it is no longer optional to have auto updating in a Mac app, it has become expected.

I would strongly disagree with that. I don't think most people notice if something doesn't auto-update.

That said, Sparkle is so stupidly simple, you have no reason not to use it.

Scott Lembcke - Howling Moon Software
Author of Chipmunk Physics - A fast and simple rigid body physics library in C.
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Member
Posts: 749
Joined: 2003.01
Post: #8
For apps that connect to the internet like colloquy and cyberduck and need security patches etc then yeah an updater is needed.
For an app with complex functionality that needs bug fixes, feature updates etc an updater is welcome.
For an offline shareware game meh could be invasive-annoying.

©h€ck øut µy stuƒƒ åt ragdollsoft.com
New game in development Rubber Ninjas - Mac Games Downloads
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Apprentice
Posts: 6
Joined: 2008.12
Post: #9
Thanks for the feedback, Sparkle looks very promising. Smile
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