Widespread usage of DC++

I have previously talked about version.xml, the file that allow people to get notified on ‘stable’ DC++ releases. (There’s of course a way to recieve notifications about every DC++ release.)

Just an early disclaimer: No information of individuals are stored.

When DC++ checks whether the current version you’re using is the latest or not, the version number is sent to dcplusplus.sf.net. And as I said: No individual information is being sent. When GargoyleMT took over hosting of version.xml (for a few days, he recieved a complaint concerning the huge amount of traffic it generated; Making him remove it), he was also able to see how many were using a specific version.

Here follows the top-10 list of most used versions. Unfortunately, the list counts each connection to version.xml as ‘one new user’ (so to speak), so the list isn’t exact.

DC++ 0.674 – 617418
DC++ 0.401 – 113297
DC++ 0.668 – 89242
DC++ 0.670 – 58008
DC++ 0.4034 – 28030
DC++ 0.673 – 27486
DC++ 0.306 – 24318
DC++ 0.305 – 9966
DC++ 0.4033 – 4073
DC++ 0.4032 – 3572

Mind you, the list is from November, 2005, which was before the release of 0.68. I’m unsure if the list would be very different, if you would create one now.

And oh, I forgot to mention that these numbers (if I recall the conversation correctly) was during a 24-hours period. You can understand why the host didn’t want the file to be hosted there.

The question that I’m sure you are thinking; Why is the so old versions so popular?
The answer is very different depending on who you ask. But it would probably be one of the following;

  • “The people on the development team told me to!” This is a fairly valid reason. Since the release of 0.4033, unicode support is required to fully experience all of the advantages that is DC++. Unfortunately, the unicode support is quite poor for Windows 95, Windows 98 and Windows ME (Microsoft’s fault that is). This is probably the reason so many (well, not in compared to eg 0.674) are using DC++ 0.4032.
  • People don’t know how to update their version. In this category, are the non-technical people. These people don’t know how to get the new version or if they were given it, how to install it.
  • People don’t want to update. This category can be divided in a few sub-categories;
    • They don’t want to update because they feel the current version they’re using is adequate for their needs.
    • They don’t want to update because they feel that the newer versions changed the behaviour of one (or many) of their favorite features.
    • They can’t be arsed. (I sometimes fall into this category.)
  • I’m unsure if this point is correct or not, but I’d like to tell it anyway. When people modificate their own copy of DC++, and distribute it, but doesn’t change the version. (I believe fulDC exibit this behaviour.)

7 Responses to Widespread usage of DC++

  1. eMTee says:

    The statistics would show about the same this time, except that less ppl use 0.674 and you can expect about the same amount of hits of 0.68x as 0.401. (most ppl who upgraded to 0.68x are used 0.674 before).

    You are described the why-not-upgrade situations well but in my opinion you forget to mention a seriuous reason – or just have a category you don’t specified exactly.

    That is : They don’t want to update because they feel that the newer versions changed the behaviour of one (or many) of their favorite features. I think it can be divide to 2 more exact category :

    – They don’t want to update because they feel that the newer versions changed the behaviour of one (or many) of their favorite features or has new features which makes using DC++ a nightmare on slow computers.
    – They don’t want to update because they experienced or heard of that when someone upgarding DC++ things can easily (or probably!) go wrong.

    In my experience the latter reason is about 30-40% of all reasons!! Let me explain : unfortunately there’s a rumour circulating among users about the results of upgrade procedure what makes a lot of ppl fear from upgrading. And they’re right from their point of view because there were many innovations in DC++ in the last years (which is quite good ofcourse!) but dev ppl sometimes didn’t take enough effort to help switching to the new versions without problems. Unfortunately there are some nasty issues which keep a lot of ppl from upgrading.

    We know developers’ (and your) opininon : DC++ is WYSIWYG don’t bother us with your feature requests as you haven’t paid a single coin for using it. Everyone must admit it because its right from the devs’ point of view.

    But if those problems could be solved (even if its a painfully boring work for a good innovative programmer) the propensity of upgrading would be much higher. With easy upgrade procedure everyone could enjoy the benefits of new features.

    About the unicode problem my opinion : The kernel, networking and memory handling of win9x are simply unfit for a p2p application with broadband connections. DC++ networks dont need unreliable peers so DC++ not running well on w9x is not a problem but a feature ;)

    Sorry for making too much noise :)

  2. “DC++ is WYSIWYG don’t bother us with your feature requests as you haven’t paid a single coin for using it.”
    That isn’t what I was trying to say with that post. The point of the post is that people shouldn’t demand that we do anything. I don’t mind not being paid, because the sheer enjoyment to develop is enough. (Well, most of the time – not when people nag and nag that we’ve done wrong and that we’re stupid.) I do wish more people would make feature requests, but constructive ones, not completely and utterly stupid that some are.

    You talk about issues concerning upgrading, what are they? The only thing I can think of that’s lately been bad with upgrading and that is; sources for files and favorite users will be lost. And that isn’t hard in the sense that it’s hard to go from eg 0.674 to 0.689.

    I’m not sure how we could make the upgrade procedure easier, if you have any suggestions, I’m all ear. The installer will backup all files (if chosen of course) that are of value…

    I agree about the “oh my god that version suck”-rumours, it is unfortunate. But there’s nothing we can do to stop it. There will always be people who hate DC++ and the decisions that are being made.

  3. emtee says:

    Sorry for I havent stated exactly I know that WYSIWYG thing is not your opinion. It was from a forum thread back that time when you made ‘Give us a break’ post. You’re right I remember there was some stupid noise on that thread – but also good advices.

    The issues I said are from real world experience – as I’m a hub operator and I like to always using the latest software as soon as possible so I’ve always tried to force my users to upgrade.
    There are many reasons users refused me to do so, as you mentioned in the post very well. So (DC++) developers can’t help all of them.

    There are 3 big wishes of those who want to upgrade :

    – Keep my queue intact as much as possible

    Developers’ answer : empty your queue then upgrade.
    The problem is that users often thinking another way than developers. (Beeing a programmer I know its real pain sometimes ;) Lot of users have tons of gigs of entries in the queue because they simply add almost everything to the queue regardless of the chance it will be downloaded right away or not. They keep those entries because once the time comes and the TTH matches… they’ll got them.
    Or users just simply dont want to wait until the queue empties ot they haven’t got enough patience not to add new material to the queue before upgrade.

    The queue can’t be intact because :

    1. Unicode issues
    2. User identification changed to ADC specs

    – Keep my favs intact

    3. Fav users will be lost because of the ADC spec

    – If I upgrade to the latest I cannot get the filelist of some users due to a bug in their clients while they still can get mine.

    4. 0.68x users cannot get the list of 0.307…0.401

    There were a thread about this in the forum (already purged):
    GargoyleMT : The bug is in the older client so we are not intended to solve it. It would be wasting of time so upgrade all.
    Me : I havent succeed to force my users to upgrade (one or more of the reasons mentioned here)
    GargoyleMT : Ban them
    Me : I cannot ban them because we are a small hub for sharing rare material and they have good share.
    And those who upgraded they keep PMing the op crew ‘couldnt get xyz’s filelist what am I supposed to do??’ What we can tell them??? I dont want to tell them dont upgrade because theres a small issue…. I want to say to everyone: upgrade as soon as possible it will be better for you and for us too!

    So that 4 problems (which could be solved by DC++ devs) we are facing. Maybe you think these are not so big problems but many of my users refused to upgrade because of one or more of them…

    Btw. I examined the difference between the old and new fav.xml and if Im not wrong the problem is the new specification is indentifying users by an exact ID rather than just a nick. Maybe there’s a possibility to accept the old entries and convert them to new ones “on the fly” in time when a particular source / fav user appears on a hub. I bet a similar idea was came to Arne’s mind long before mine… Im sure he thought that implementing this would be too long and wasting of time.

    I have an Italian friend who created imo the best DC++ mod ever, I told him if he want to make his new project based on 0.68x he must try to solve all these issues to remain in the pole… :)))

    I dont mean the simple “oh my god that version suck”-rumours. I know it exists too but there are worse : I mean “oh my god upgrading always sucks”-rumours. That is the problem.

  4. I am not aware of any “unicode” issues with the queue so I can’t address that…

    Emptying the queue is a fool-proof way yes, but it isn’t required. The files aren’t gone with the upgrade – just the sources. Enable auto-search and the sources should be added again nicely.

    “Maybe there’s a possibility to accept the old entries and convert them to new ones “on the fly” in time when a particular source / fav user appears on a hub” I’m not sure if that’s possible. While I can understand that people want their favorite users retained during upgrades, I see very little gain for said ‘fix’, in compared with writing the code. If Bug #417 would be implemented, people would have (or I hope) less to complain about. And… If they are favorite users, they must surely frequent the same hubs you frequent, is it really that hard (read: annoying) to add them again? I have only 10 users marked as a favorite user, and they are all on the hubs I frequent on a daily basis. If it were 100 users marked as a favorite user, I can understand… But on the other hand, why do you have 100 favorites? It doesn’t sound very “favorite”-like.

    I’m not sure what you really would want us to do with 4). Make people upgrade and the problem will eventually disappear. Backwards compatibility is good, but only to a certain point.

    And, I don’t see what you’ve mentioned as something that would block people from using newer versions of DC++. (See the start of this comment concerning point number one.) The lost sources is unfortunate, but nothing critical – enable auto-search. The lost fav users is unfortunate, but re-add them again (if you have so many users there, I suggest a pruning is in place) and the connection problem can be solved if everyone did upgrade. They don’t even have to upgrade to the newest.

    (Don’t interpret ‘you’ as specifically you, emtee.)

  5. emtee says:

    Okay, (as I expected) you made the same answers as you and others did at the forum.
    Its fine to see here all the ‘official’ answers because this page wont be purged and can be referenced if someone asks the same questions. Thank you for the detailed answers!

  6. GargoyleMT says:

    eMTee, I hope that characterization of me is mistaken. If you want a minimum version of client in your hub, make it a rule and enforce it. (Banning users if they refuse to upgrade seems a lot more mean-spirited than setting up a rule for your hub.)

    It is your hub, you have power in it. If certain \”important\” clients won\’t upgrade, the two choices seem to be to live with the older versions or to implement a rule that bans them until they upgrade. (Or you could implement the rule and grandfather them around it by giving them VIP status.)

  7. Pingback: Number of DC users « DC++: Just These Guys, Ya Know?

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