Firmware updates should have changelogs

Posted on 2010-02-17 19:09 UTC by Jack Tanner. Status: Under consideration, Categories: User Experience.

Firmware updates can bring users benefits but also risks. An update can bring new functionality, but it can also disable existing functionality. The update process itself can go wrong and crash the device. Users need to be able to make informed choices about whether an update is worthwhile, but at present, the information needed for an informed choice is not easily available to end users.

Specifically, firmware updates come without changelogs. The only way to find out what's in an update is to read about other people's experiences, which can require wading through long discussion threads on

TMO thread:

Solutions for this brainstorm


Solution #1: Official updates should come with detailed changelogs

Posted on 2010-02-17 19:09 UTC by Jack Tanner.

Every official platform/application update should come with a detailed list of changes, including bug id's when there are relevant bugs in the external tracker, and with pointers to source code check-ins when the code is in public repositories.


Solution #2: Firmware updates should have human-readable announcements

Posted on 2010-02-17 19:12 UTC by Jack Tanner.

Firmware updates should come with a brief statement of what changed in the platform and in each application. These need not be annotated with bug id's or checkins, but they should be translated/translatable into multiple languages.

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