RSS feed to spread the word of software updates



The computer security landscape today is such that pretty much ALL software, whether it’s Operating System, Office Suite, Web browser or device driver is at any given time “the weakest link”. One of my dreams as someone that does IT is “what IF there were an easy way to keep track of updates for software?” In fact, I would LOVE to see some sort of open source, rss based way of distributing news of updates. The way I see it working is as follows… The software writer has an rss feed reserved for product updates (one feed per product possibly?) This isn’t cluttered up with anything else, only things like…. Mozilla Firefox 1.5.0.6 – stability update – download link. Nice and simple, so that you could setup your feed reader to check the feeds of software that you use in your situation.


An “update manager” client could in theory be made to deal with a set of rss feeds, parse the download links and find an update, but there are a lot of technical questions to that. Feature updates vs. security updates is one question, but verifying the authenticity of the binary is another.

However, at the very least it would be nice if there was an rss feed that was JUST dedicated to announcing security updates for software and nothing else. I was hoping to do a post listing feeds for several vendors that did just that. SO far, I’ve come up fairly empty. Microsoft has a page at this link, unfortunately it doesn’t even appear to have information (nor does the feed) on the JULY updates and we’re now a few days from August updates. Additionally, there is extra information in other posts, so it’s NOT just about update notices.

I’ve done something close with the security updates category here at averyjparker.com….. but, I’ve also added extra information, commentary, details, etc. I’ve started a new category here with the hopes of doing part of what I describe above. It’s called “Software-update-notice” and my goal is to post there with a very simplified format. The subject of the post will detail the product name (and version if applicable.) The text will be fairly bland, perhaps even just a summary of the type of update (security update/stability update/major version change) and a download link. In the case of Windows updates, I’ll detail the number of updates (perhaps how many critical, and a link to the Microsoft update site.

My hope with this is that if I can give a consistent format it will make it easier for people to use that feed simply as a notification of updates, nothing more, nothing less.

Now, I AM putting this post in that topic as an introduction to the topic, but after that if you want further details on an update you’ll have to visit the main site here, or the security-updates feed.

Obviously I cannot keep track of updates for every software package on earth. I will do my best to give timely notice of updates of the areas that I’m able to. If this is something that’s useful to people I may try to expand coverage in the future by enlisting help from others.

I’ve now got things set so that this category should have it’s own feed (as all categories on the site should.) The directly link for this feed is http://www.averyjparker.com/categories/software_update_notice/feed/

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