We Update Constantly (or Why Our Build Numbers Are Only Three Digits)

Often times, when you have a problem with LSWS, one of our staff will suggest that you update to the latest version of the web server. “But I am using the latest version,” you say. “No,” the staff member says, “we updated it yesterday.”

This is something we get asked about quite often: Why don’t we add another digit to distinguish between builds whenever we update LSWS? The reason is that we update it so often — and for so many configuration-specific bugs — that for you, the user, to try to keep up with these updates is an exercise in futility.

Bugs are a fact of life. We all know that. But, as George noted in a recent forum post, one of the things you pay for with LiteSpeed is a group of highly-skilled professionals whose job it is to make sure the bugs are exterminated ASAP. Because of that, we often see multiple bug fixes and updates in a single day. Most of these bugs are very specific problems and, while we think it’s best to add the bug fix to the software, there is no need for every customer to try to keep up with these updates. This is, however, why our first response on the forum is often “Update to the latest version.” You may be the one of the few out of our thousands of customers who will benefit from bug fixes of the last couple days.

Another question often asked is: Why did I just get an email telling me to update to version xx.xx.xx when I already have version xx.xx.xx? The answer is that, while we test and test and test our updates before putting them out, we like to have a little delay before we send out the email telling everyone to upgrade. These few days or weeks become a fertile bug fixing period, when the first new adopters show us all the spots our testing missed. Real life is so much more complicated than the lab. Once this wave of bug reports has been quelled, then we send out the email saying, “Everyone, you really should download this update. You’re missing out if you don’t.”

So, considering these two explanations, there are a few take-home messages:

  • If you’re experiencing a bug, first try updating your LSWS, even if you have the latest build.
  • Every change in the build number represents a major improvement in the product. We do not change the build number for minor fixes.
  • While a new build should represent an upgrade in performance, they may be a short period after it’s release when new bugs are coming to light.
  • We always make available an older version of the software so that, if all else fails, you can temporarily downgrade for stability while we address your issue. (And we will address your issue. That’s part of what you pay us for.)

We do plan to add the option to have your server automatically updated every time we update LSWS (and we understand why some users want this feature). We’re also working on making our documentation more clear about our internal processes (among other things). And we value that feedback, so keep the questions coming.

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