Way back in the not-so-distant past the only way to update WordPress was to download (wget/ftp) updates, plugins and themes, unpack them and perform the update/install.
It is possible to pull the latest builds from subversion – but that’s really focused on the core hacker.
New in WP 2.7 was the ability to update automatically.
There were a few challenges with this – permissions, PHP modules, various host implementations – but I found it generally quite successful.
I found a great FAQ here – http://dd32.id.au/2009/02/20/wordpress-filesystem-abstraction-faq/
From the same author is a very cool plugin – core-control – it lets you enable and disable various transports – and shows the status of them.
I just noticed that I moved this blog to WordPress 1.5 some four years ago!
Prior to that I had several online things – including a static html status and news diary.
Here’s a post on this from April 2005 – my first online web page was in 1993!
WordPress 2.8 RC1 is out – looking very good.
Also John Godfrey updated the audit-trail plugin.
Never a dull moment watching Systems Management.
I remember talking with Ronni Colville from Gartner in early 2000 about how what was then known as “Enterprise Software Distribution” would always keep evolving – but would never really change.
Today the challenges are many – mobility, bandwidth, expectations of users, privacy, security, compliance – all tied into a real budget squeeze.
At the same time there is a continuing trend towards consolidation.
In the past week or so we have seen Configuresoft, Solidcore and most recently Cassatt be acquired.
My gut feeling – most of the virtualisation management, run-book automation and niche players will be gone by year end.
A wave of smaller ISVs are rising to replace them. I’ve met with some great new talent in this space – and just as I discussed with Ronni in 2000 – it’s still the same problem to solve.