An Op-Ed for Code


Evergreen Application Delivery ...updated as of Version 1.0.15

Present-day software delivery systems span the range of older style Setup programs that must be re-run for every new release, to the newer evergreen systems that provide automatic updates to the application after a single installation. It's "install-many" versus an "install-once, update-many", or if you like, "nevergreen" vs "evergreen".

While each delivery style has its place and choice of one is dependent upon many factors in the application development cycle, the selection of the delivery technology will have an important bearing in the success of the application and the overall reception it receives by its users.

H5s is an application clearly suited for modern evergreen delivery technology. It is undergoing active development and is on the steep part of the software maturity curve, both of which mandate a clean, reliable way to release new functionality and fixes with little to no user cost.

However, evergreen delivery systems for PC desktop applications are usually written as full custom software, making them prohibitively expensive for modestly-sized development efforts. It would be beyond the resources of H5s development to write such a system. Fortunately, there is Squirrel, which solves this problem and works beautifully.

Service Interval Updates ...techincal debt 101

Periodically a new version will be labeled as a service interval update. This indicates a version that contains internal updates to the codebase that are part of an ongoing process of constantly paying down accrued technical debt.

Accumulating technical debt is not always a bad thing. Not paying it down almost always is. In that light, service interval updates should be considered by users as a good thing--it means someone is minding the store.

Also, it's worth pointing out that service interval updates are ultimately about introducing new features with breaking the design integrity of the application. Untended debt is fundamentally at cross-purposes to this goal, and ultimately becomes so burdensome that eventually, technical creativity pays the price.

HDF5 is a registered trademark of The HDF Group, Inc.
H5s is a native-code, install-once, evergreen application for Windows 10
H5s multigraph with standard ui/o expansion