I have blender version 2.76b. I have noticed that blender doesn't update it self automatically. Is there a reason for that. And also if i update my blender, will I be able to work on blender projects from previous version of blender without any errors or problems? Thanks
You have to download the updated version from the website because there is not an in-software update function. And yes you will be able to edit old .blend files because it is a standard file extension in the whole blender suite.
As far as I can tell, people are enjoying 2.77 more than 2.76b. You'll be able work on your previous projects without any problems. An automatic update option would require Blender contacting the server prior to starting, which would increase the time Blender takes when starting up (some computers already struggle with start-up time, as Blender is a dense program with lots of functionality written with a simple language), especially if it struggles in contacting the server. And if it does find there's an update, artists may feel pressured to postpone their work while it updates, or while they try and figure out the new features. Not to mention the annoying reminders, prompting the need for a "Not right now, never bother me again." check box.
Blender as no builtin automatic update system at the moment, you always have to manually update.
It is for the most part backwards compatible so apart from some small additions or changes you should always be able to open your files without problems on newer versions unless stated in the release notes.
If there is no specific functionality or dropped features from previous versions you need, it is always advised to upgrade, unless you are in the middle of a release cycle and have some very critical commercial production work, or a complex project; in which case you are advised to finish your work before messing with the software installation.
As far as I know no features were dropped from 2.76 to 2.77 series, and generally new features and improvements are waiting along with bug fixes.
Ulus, in your case, I would not expect that you should not have a problem accessing files created in 2.76 from 2.77,after updating. I have sometimes experienced problems when attempting to open a ~.blend file created in a much older version, in a much newer one, for example, trying to open a file created in 2.4x, perhaps downloaded from a site like Blendswap. I have found that two things reduce problems when making such an attempt. One is to open the file in an intermediate version, save it, and then open it in a current version. So, if I download a file created in 2.49 or 2.5, I might open it first in 2.62 or 2.63, save it, and then open it in a more recent version. The other thing I discovered that reduces problems loading older files is to clear the the "Load UI" button in the file browser, outlined in the light blue box in the image below.
If the button is not cleared, then the user interface stored in the file will load, and if it's an old enough file, the UI will be dramatically different than the one to which you are likely accustomed.
there should't be any issues with your projects after updating.
If you download Blender via Steam, it updates automatacly!