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Gossamer Links 3.0.0 update system and activation
There has been some confusion regarding the update system being used by Gossamer Links 3.0.0, and the activation system behind it.

First, to address the update system. Some have expressed concern about what the update system sends to Gossamer Threads servers; the update system sends information as follows.

When checking for available updates:
  • reg_number=... - your registration number - obviously, only license owners are able to update the software.
  • init_path=... Your program init path (i.e. admin path) - we use this only as a means to identify distinct copies of our program, in an attempt to avoid license abuse. As mentioned in the "Gossamer Links 3.0.0 license clarifications thread, we're currently in the process of adding the ability for a secondary testing installation for license holders.
  • product=... The name associated with the product - for Gossamer Links this is 'Links', for Gossamer Mail it will be 'GMail', and so on.
  • product_version=... The version of your product (i.e. 2.99.1, 3.0.0, etc.)
  • update_version=... The version of the GT::Update module - in case we need to set up a workaround due to added features in later versions.

When actually downloading updates to install, one request for each file is sent containing the above parameters as well as:
  • update_id=... - the ID of the update you are downloading. For example, the fileman update uploaded yesterday has an ID of 22.
  • file_id=... - the specific file id of the update, for each file contained in the update. For the fileman update, the ID's are 35, 36, and 38.
  • file_path=... - this applies only to version updates, it specifies the path of the file being downloaded - for example, for the 3.0.0 update this would be set to 'glinks-3.0.0/install.cgi' when downloading install.cgi.

Rest assured that no other data is transmitted - the full paths listed in the update section of the admin panel are generated entirely on your server - Gossamer Threads is never sent anything other than the main admin path. Furthermore, the update system in no way provides a backdoor into admin panels: the download system has been specifically designed to only download very limited information from our servers - no code is or can be sent from Gossamer Threads servers as part of checking for updates. Updates themselves may contain code as part of the update, however rest assured that only product development staff have access to add or remove updates.

The updates themselves are checked at most once every 5 minutes, and are checked both on the "Updates" -> "Show Updates" menu (which is the default page when clicking "Updates") and on the admin panel Home page. The latter can be disabled from the Setup -> Misc. Options page if desired.

As for the activation system, product activation is not a required feature for a core Gossamer Links installation. The admin path checking only affects the update and plugin system. Again, it is not required for a Gossamer Links installation and in most cases, even when it *is* set, it should be an automatic process that isn't usually a problem.

Gossamer Threads Development Team

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GT Dev Team: Apr 12, 2005, 5:43 PM

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