Distribution independent update-manager
This is an extension for the proposal at SummerOfCode2009/Distribution_independent_update_manager. There are a few additional tasks that should be covered for the work on update-manager. You can find these listed below.
Special notification for certain updates
Certain updates, such as updates coming from security.debian.org should use a special notification, making it easier to distinguish between security updates and normal ones.
Automatic downloading of updates
It has been suggested that updates should be automatically downloaded once available. This functionality is already provided by the software-properties package and its GTK or KDE user interface. This means that adding this feature to update-manager most likely duplicates code. However, merging this functionality of the software-properties package into update-manager should be possible. This idea needs some more discussion.
Automatic installation of packages
Packages could be installed automatically, but unattended-upgrades already provides this functionality. Again unattended-upgrades is an Ubuntu-native package adapted for Debian. It should at least be investigated whether adding this functionality to update-manager is feasible and if it is, be added.
The problem with this functionality could be user-interaction, but it was noted that only a few packages need user-interaction when upgrading which would be not automatically upgradeable in turn.
The current UI uses a lot of screen-space and could be modified to only show minimal information by default, but optionally (through settings or "Details" buttons) more detailed information (either just like now, or even more information). BTS-integration in the form of apt-listbugs has also been discussed, but it was noted that this could cause the BTS to be hammered by requests from u-m. The idea would be to showing average users a minimalistic UI, whilst optionally providing more experienced users with additional information.