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How is patchable software made?

I keep hearing how a lot of software is patchable?  How the heck is this done?  Is the exe or a dll re-downloaded?  How do you patch an existing exe or dll?  Does this have to be taken into account from the beginning of development?

Patch
Tuesday, August 03, 2004

so you've never heard of IPS files, and similiar?

Welcome to the internet, man.  We've been here a while.

Try google.

muppet
Tuesday, August 03, 2004


Uh.. quite often it's replacing one library with a new one.

KC
Tuesday, August 03, 2004

http://www.jmknoble.net/WindowMaker/patches/patching-howto.html

Code Monkey
Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Or a patch is made to the .exe file itself by using a binary diff tool on the original .exe and the new .exe.  This patch is then itself packaged as an .exe that, when run on the original .exe, will result in the new .exe.  For this sort of patching there's nothing special you have to do in design of your original program.  Works for any executable.

Helpful hinter
Tuesday, August 03, 2004

KC -

amateur.

muppet
Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Also check the thread...

http://discuss.fogcreek.com/joelonsoftware/default.asp?cmd=show&ixPost=2931

Code Monkey
Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Thanks Code Monkey.

Patch
Tuesday, August 03, 2004

And on Windows it involves a reboot.

sysadmin
Tuesday, August 03, 2004

There's a decent product called RTPatch from:

http://www.pocketsoft.com/

old_timer
Tuesday, August 03, 2004

If you're doing .net development you might want to check out the updater application block:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/dnbda/html/updater.asp

PopCulture
Tuesday, August 03, 2004

I have always wanted to know the same thing.

Aussie Chick
Tuesday, August 03, 2004

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