Enable automatic extension update check?

Automatic extension update check works really well in Slicer-5.0.3, but since it is not enabled by default and the settings is quite hidden in the extensions manager (see the image below) probably many users are not aware that this very useful feature exists.

We should make this feature enabled by default, but since it would mean that Slicer contacts a server regularly (once a day by default), we should probably ask consent from the user.

Does anyone have a suggestion for the text that we should ask from users?
Are there any other suggestions related to auto-update?

I was thinking this kind of option should go in the Welcome module along with an option to check for updates to the app itself. I think having a single option for both the application and extensions would be more logical and simpler. Also the status would be visible to the user every time the application starts as long as the Welcome module was their home, which I guess most people never change.

The text could be something like: “Automatically check for updates to the application and installed extensions. Note that anonymized usage statistics will be recorded.”

Having this enabled by default is fine with me since all OSes, even ubuntu, have auto update checks on by default. Even venerable open source apps like vim have it enabled by default too, and the checkbox is hidden in the preference dialog. Anyone who is particularly concerned is no doubt used to looking for ways to disable these features.

I would hesitate to add another dialog at startup since we already have the clinical use warning and we don’t really want to detract from that.

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Thanks for the suggestions, these sound good to me.

@jcfr how could we detect that a new Slicer Stable Release is available?

How does this look?

Automatic update is disabled, the button can be clicked for a one-time update check:

Update is found:


Automatic update is enabled:


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This enhancement has been integrated into Slicer Preview Release (PR-6520) and will be available for download from 2022-09-09.

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Thank you, @lassoan, looking forward to this. Will it even detect when a new stable is available?

Currently we only check for extension updates. However, now that we are increasing the frequency of application updates (the goal is to have a new stable release every quarter) it is becoming more important to check for application updates, too. I’m not sure that this update check will fit into Slicer-5.2, it mainly depends when the server API will be ready. The task is tracked in this issue:

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