In an attempt to better show what its software is up to, Google has
released the source code of its Google Update software, a project
code-named Omaha that can automatically install new versions of
programs, including the Chrome browser and Google Earth.
users can be surprised to find this program running, and at Google, we
don't like disappointing our users. We've been working hard to address
these concerns, and releasing the source code for Omaha is our attempt
to make the purpose of Google Update totally transparent," Myles Jordan
of Google's software engineering team and Michael Smith of its product
management team said in a blog post Friday.
Google believes in
automatic updates of software so security vulnerabilities can be
patched quickly, and Google Update is the tool that permits automatic
downloading and installation of a new version in the background so it's
ready to run the next time the program is launched.
source code can allay concerns about what exactly software is up to,
but Google also hopes that others will be able to use Omaha.
software up-to-date is hard. So if you're thinking of developing your
own auto-updater, or have already started, we hope that the code we are
releasing today will be helpful to you," the Google employees said.
company also released an Omaha developer guide for those wishing to use
the software. Omaha is governed by the Apache License 2.0, Google's
preferred open-source software license.