Simple multiplatform (Qt-based) application update tool inspired by Sparkle
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README.mdown

This is a branch that was made by Torben Dannhauer and updated by Paulo Pinheiro to support Qt5 as well as Qt4. That promises an autoupdate functionality at least on Windows.

According to the author, the following changes were made:

  • Clicking "Install Update" now installs the update automatically:
    • downloads the update with a progress bar
    • renames all old files with an available replacement to <oldname>.oldversion
    • unzips the update files
    • restarts the app to run the new software version – now the old binaries are no longer locked by Windows
    • and finally during the start process of the software cleans up the renamed old files.
    • (Windows does not allow to delete files of running apps, but renaming is allowed – thus restarting the app allows to switch to the new version and the final cleanup deletes the old files)
  • Fervor now depends on QuaZIP, a zipping framework for Qt to be able to unzip the update within the program without further external dependencies like 7zip, WinRar or similar solutions.
  • Removed the dialog which presents the update for manual download – it is no longer required.
  • Removing the preprocessor definitions FV_APP_VERSION and FV_APP_VERSION – it is far more elegant to use the QApplication::set* mechanism instead the defined strings.
  • Integrate SSL-Certificate fingerprint check to ensure the update is downloaded from the right server.
  • Integrate support for Webserver-authentication do allow to protect the updates as well as the update feed with .htaccess
  • Integrate support for details appearance control of the update window – it should be configurable if "skip this update" and if "remind me later" is allowed.
  • Changed update window appearance: Resizing is no longer possible, also the title bar is removed. The user has now only the buttons to react on a proposed update.

Fervor is a simple, multiplatform (Qt-based) application update tool, inspired by Sparkle.

Description

Fervor is a software library that you include into your own Qt-based application in order to enable the application to automatically check for updates and suggest to install them.

When installed and enabled, Fervor downloads a "flavoured" RSS feed (dubbed "appcast") and checks whether an update to the application is available. The RSS feed ("appcast") lists various versions of the application ("1.0", "1.1", "2.0", ...) that are available for download.

When a newer version of the application is found in the "appcast" (e.g. the user is using 1.0, and 1.1 is available), a dialog is presented to the user (see below for example) that allows the user to choose whether he/she wants to install the update, be reminded about the update later, or skip a particular proposed version altogether. A dialog also shows some release notes about the proposed update that help the user to choose whether or not to install an update.

At the moment, Fervor is not as cool as Sparkle -- it is not able to install the actual update automatically (the user is given an option to download and install the update manually). Pull requests with unattended install modules for .dmg, .pkg (Mac OS X), .msi (Windows), .rpm, .deb (Linux) are welcome!

Features

  • Multiplaform - works (should work) on Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, ...
  • Checks for updates both automatically and manually.
  • Displays release notes.
  • Proposed updates might be skipped or installed later by the user.
  • Backwards compatible with Sparkle (can use the very same "appcast" RSS).
  • BSD license.

Screenshots

Installation and Usage

(This is a description of the sample application located in sample/.)

I'm writing an application called Sample. It's version is only 1.0, and I would like to enable the users of my application to be notified when I decide to release new versions of Sample (1.1, 1.2, maybe even 2.0 if I'm lucky) and help them to download and install each and every update of the application. Thus, I decide I'll use Fervor for that.

This is what I do:

1. Download Fervor

Git clone Fervor:

git clone https://github.com/pypt/fervor.git fervor

...or add it as a submodule if you're using Git in your project:

git add submodule https://github.com/pypt/fervor.git fervor
git submodule init
git submodule update

You might also download a tarball.

2. Include Fervor into your Qt Project (.pro file)

Include Fervor's project include file Fervor.pri after setting your application's TARGET and VERSION:

QT += core gui

TARGET = Sample
VERSION = 1.0
TEMPLATE = app

# ...

# Fervor autoupdater
!include("fervor/Fervor.pri") {
	error("Unable to include Fervor autoupdater.")
}

Fervor will append itself to your application's HEADERS, SOURCES, FORMS and TRANSLATIONS, and thus will become an integral part of your application's binary.

3. Set your application's applicationName, applicationVersion, organizationName and organizationDomain if you haven't done so already

Fervor uses QApplication::applicationName(), QApplication::applicationVersion(), QApplication::organizationName() and QApplication::organizationDomain() for its own needs.

If you don't set QApplication::applicationName() and QApplication::applicationVersion(), Fervor will do that for you. However, QApplication::organizationName() and QApplication::organizationDomain() have to be set by hand.

Example of setting those four values:

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
	QApplication a(argc, argv);

	QApplication::setApplicationName("Sample");
	QApplication::setApplicationVersion("1.0");
	QApplication::setOrganizationName("pypt");
	QApplication::setOrganizationDomain("pypt.lt");

	// ...
}

4. Set the Fervor's appcast URL right after you start your application

Set the "appcast" URL in Fervor's singleton FVUpdater::sharedUpdater() before you do anything else, but after you set applicationName, applicationVersion, organizationName and organizationDomain in QApplication. It is probably a good idea to do that in int main(int argc, char *argv[]) too, right after setting application name, version, organization name and domain:

#include "fvupdater.h"

// ...

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
	QApplication a(argc, argv);

	QApplication::setApplicationName("Sample");
	QApplication::setApplicationVersion("1.0");
	QApplication::setOrganizationName("pypt");
	QApplication::setOrganizationDomain("pypt.lt");

	// Set this to your own appcast URL, of course
	FvUpdater::sharedUpdater()->SetFeedURL("https://raw.github.com/pypt/fervor/master/sample/Appcast.xml");

	// ...
}

5. Enable checking for updates right after starting the application (if you want to)

Call Fervor's CheckForUpdatesSilent() whenever you feel like is a good moment for the Fervor to check for updates. "Silent" part here means that Fervor will not display error dialogs or the "No updates found." notification.

I've decided that I'll check for updates in int main(int argc, char *argv[]) too:

#include "fvupdater.h"

// ...

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
{
	QApplication a(argc, argv);

	// <...> setApplicationName(), setApplicationVersion(), SetFeedURL(), etc.

	// Check for updates silently -- this will not block the initialization of
	// your application, just start a HTTP request and return immediately.
	FvUpdater::sharedUpdater()->CheckForUpdatesSilent();

	// ...
}

6. Enable checking for updates manually by the user (if you want to)

You might want to implement a menu item called "Check for Updates..." that would allow the user to check for updated versions of your application manually. This menu item (or a button, or some other widget) would have to be attached to the CheckForUpdatesNotSilent() function of the Fervor's singleton. Not silent means that Fervor will notify the user about connection problems (if any) and even when no updates were found.

#include "fvupdater.h"

// <...>

// ui->updateButton is QButton
connect(ui->updateButton, SIGNAL(clicked()),
		FvUpdater::sharedUpdater(), SLOT(CheckForUpdatesNotSilent()));

7. Publish an "appcast" somewhere suited for your needs

Again, "appcast" is an RSS feed with an additional fervor XML namespace. A type of "appcast" used by "Fervor" lists various application versions as <item>s, and a single <item> might point to several platform builds of your application (Windows build, Linux build, Mac OS X build, ...)

An "appcast" also links to a webpage with each version's "release notes" that are shown to the user when a particular version of the application update is proposed.

When the user clicks "Install Update", he / she is then shown a link (<enclosure url="..." />) of an application update download for his particular platform.

See https://raw.github.com/pypt/fervor/master/sample/Appcast.xml for an "appcast" example, and http://pypt.github.com/fervor/RelNotes.html for an "release notes" example.

It is up to you to implement "appcasts" and "release notes". If you don't release too many versions of your application, it is even plausible to edit them by hand every time you release an update.