There are two main ways to handle software updates: provide an updated installer, or provide a smaller updater that only includes the changes. (Either method can be automated.) Incremental updates have advantages, especially if you’re dealing with something as massive as, say, World of Warcraft, or Microsoft Office. But they do make things more complicated for the publisher.
One problem is the upgrade path. It’s one thing to provide an updater that goes from version N to version N+1. But what if someone doesn’t run the updater until N+2 is available? Or worse, N+3? Continue reading