just my 2 cents about why WAU is needed (not just for power users):
there are some addons that NEED to be as up to date as possible.
First and foremost... Omen.
Second.. BigWigs, Recount.
A lot of people chose to use WAU and the inherent instability of beta addons, because of these addons that need to be up-to-date..and are allways in flux. It;s ok to raid with out of date action bar addon or unit frame addon. But u need Omen and BigWigs to be as new as possible.
And WAU was the only option.
WAU and any updater for that matter is only for convenience. If you really need every commit, there is SVN for that.
You can always manually download the updates. The addons you mentioned do not update every minute, do not update every hour, and do not update every day.
Then for BigWigs, there is DBM. So now you are down to just Omen and Recount from your example.
You play WoW for at least 3 hours, especially if you are raiding. You don't just say:
"Hold on guys, I have to run my WAU coz there must be a new commit of Omen, BigWigs, and Recount. You guys should to..."
Am I wrong with that?
WAU is important fine, but it is not a 'need', it is only a 'want'.
You can always use Curse Client or any other client that you want, for just those 3 addons you mentioned. That seems to be the "no-raid-if-you-dont-have-it" addons.
Still, we always return to the fact that, there is absolutely nothing wrong with downloading manually 3 add-ons that does not update every minute, hour, or days.
I'm going to guess that you started using Ace-based addons early on, before all of the rabid adopters. In that case, the framework was being used by people who were rather competent coders and who knew how and when to use the Ace libraries.
Yep, that is correct. I wasn't as Ace'd as I am now compared to the early days, but I felt the difference back then especially with using a low-end machine.
Addons which use Ace libraries are only as good as the knowledge and grasp of concepts of person who programmed them. There are some really shitty addons using Ace libraries. There are also some very good addons which don't.
Couldn't agree more. I think as you've said above, that time, there "were rather competent coders and who knew how and when to use" this and that. (Not that we have less competent coders today.)
And so we end up with multiple addons doing similar things, which in my mind is nothing but great, because there is more of a chance that you find something that matches your preferences and preconceptions.
I'd like to add that, the setup of Ace and how it developed, as Kaelten said - Standalone Libs, IMO fueled its success and popularity. I mean, compared to other projects where you have to use the package itself (I'm sure those who played WoW during its first few months know which packages I'm referring to), with Ace, there is freedom to choose what you want.
The names of the people, not that of the library itself.
I find _that_ usage highly annoying and misleading, though, because an aberration of an addon that happens to use the Ace framework is not a superior product by virtue of that fact.
Unfortunately, there are many end-users who are confused on this issue and religiously download anything with a name like "AddonAce" or "AceAssistant" and are comforted by seeing a colored -Ace- next to the name of their addon when viewing their addon list in-game. This, in turn, leads many naive addon authors to "make it Ace!" in cases where it is completely unnecessary to - turning a 30-line addon into a much larger one with the embedded libraries which they didn't need in the first place.
IMO, it is based on the user. In my experience, that's how it was, since at that time I was playing WoW with 512mb only and I have to care a lot about alot of things like keeping the memory light, avoiding plenty of bugs (there are less bugs using Ace that time compared to others), etc. Since having a low-end PC means I have to wait long while the addons are getting fired up after logging-in.
When I moved to Ace, it definitely was "better" than the addons I came from. Yes, many will argue that Ace doesn't really or is not any better than the other addons. Many will argue that Ace is not the reason for low memory usage. But, as a user who was using a low-end PC during the early days, Ace did it.
So in my PoV, Ace is leading the trend, even though I agree to the points made above and in the past of what Ace isn't. There are two sides in this, the technical side where the code tells us there really isn't any significant improvements versus other libs or addons (or license); vs an actual user experience.
IMO, both are correct.
It is no different than the infamous XP tweak about "QoS 20% Bandwidth Gain". Technically speaking, it is a false tweak as clearly stated by Microsoft, but to some people, by experience it made a difference, even though the underlying code doesn't tell us so. (And I am completely against that tweak.)
Now I have a better machine, 2gb memory, etc. I care less now about those stuff, it is now simply just being bias towards Ace and to convince in one go the non-addon users to use only Ace/Rock/tek based addons they can find in UI sites, again, just being bias.
Wowace started with just a forum and a few static pages. No one remembers those days though ;)
I remember it as well :p I discovered WoWAce via CosmosUI, and slowly followed and migrated over. What made fueled my migration even more was because I don't like CTMod, and Ace provides very good alternatives.
Now, Ace is not "alternatives" to those mods anymore, Ace is the leading the trend.