[development] RFC: letting modules phone home to check for new releases

Steven Wittens steven at acko.net
Sat Nov 18 17:47:25 UTC 2006

> my goal is to get this into core someday.  it's too late in 5.x for  
> that.  however, since the modules page is all happy FAPI, we could  
> do this via a form_alter()'ing contrib for 5.x and see that  
> eventually migrate into core in 6.x or beyond.

Typically, modules will only go out of date long after you install  
them. So, you would only notice outdated modules when you come back  
to admin/modules for something else.

Perhaps this could be added to the status report instead. We already  
have an 'outreach' from the status report to /admin for critical  
errors and we could do something similar for out of date versions.  
Given that version checking can be applied not only to modules, but  
also themes and even core, it seems a bit out of place on the modules  
page as well.

Plus, it allows us to present it in a simple, compact format. Some  

Drupal          5.2 (up to date)
(Checkmark icon)
Drupal          5.1 (minor update available)
(Error icon) A new maintenance release is available for Drupal 5.x  
and should be installed immediately to prevent critical security bugs.
Drupal          4.7.4 (major update available)
(Warning icon) A new major release of Drupal is available which  
includes many new features.

Modules        Up to date
Modules        Minor updates available
Updates are available for the following modules:
* Pirate
* Views
(Warning icon)
Modules        Major updates available
A critical security fix is available for the following modules and  
should be installed immediately:
* Hack your site.module

The idea of the status report has always been that it should only  
present important information. Contrast this with, for example,  
presenting a long table of module names with a column that says "up  
to date" or "updates available": it forces the admin to sift through  
the (possibly long) list him/herself. It is much more efficient to  
summarize the information.

Of course, an additional outreach could be added to admin/modules  
too, but the update information should IMO not live there.

Steven Wittens

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