Updated Slicer binary automatic notification

Please add :+1: to this post if you think it would be helpful for the Slicer application to automatically query the central server for the availability of an updated binary, and automatically notify the user.

I am also using ITK-Snap, and just discovered that (similar to virtually all modern applications these days) it has this feature (although it just points to the download page and the user needs to install the update manually).

It would be great to hear other users’ thoughts on this feature.


We have also discussed in the past that a by-product of checking for updates at startup time is that the server can log how many times the check is performed, thereby giving us an estimate of how often the program is being run. We could also track things like what extensions are installed, what OS is being used, etc.

Would anyone object if this kind of tracking was enabled by default? Should it have an opt-out option for privacy?

I would not object if allowing storage of update query logs was enabled by default. Google has already convinced me a long time ago that I should hand over all kinds of information in return for free stuff - this would not be different (other than that we don’t look for profit).

I don’t like those update notifications that just open my web browser, but they are very easy to implement, and certainly better than nothing.

I guess the automatic update would be only for stable releases - so we would have one more reason to make stable releases more frequently.

+1 Auto update notification, but won’t make sense for nightlies.

As a user, I don’t mind tracking by Slicer. I know the people, I trust the community. However, if you go down that road, please make it clear during the installation with a little bit of justification (to inform users that may not be part of the active community why you are doing it and what you are collecting. Funding being the primary reason).

Keep the default option as opt-in, let the user know about and decide for themselves. You really don’t want to force people or do it behind their back. It is a piece of information you are currently not collecting and any additional information you are going to get will be icing on the cake. Maybe even consider making what you are collecting publicly available…

My two cents.

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See some more discussion here:

Feature request in the issue tracker here:

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A pull request has just been submitted that implements this feature. Feedback is welcome (by commenting on the pull request).