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What is Public Beta

by JT_Ray / March 10, 2008 12:19 PM PDT

Ok so on Friday's episode Molly and Tom basically discussed how well should a beta product should run. What I gathered from the argument was IE8 beta can run buggy because it is a private beta and Firefox can't because it is a public beta. Well never mind the fact anyone can download IE8 Beta and run it, and yes is it slow and buggy, but from prior experience with anything beta is that it is always buggy. Testing a number of these beta products I have found that this to be true all the time, public or private. The bottom line expectation should be it is a beta not the end product, thus the bugginess.

P.S. Apple pimping the SDK on their main page is so overboard. Please Steve 2 months of the Air on the front page, followed by the new the MacBook for 2 weeks. I can see this SDK roadmap photo lasting until June.

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No lifeguard on duty
by Aeirlys / March 10, 2008 1:08 PM PDT
In reply to: What is Public Beta

I've always kind of thought of beta like swimming with those "at your own risk" signs up all over the place. You probably won't drown if you're at all competent, but just in case you do, it's all your own fault.

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beta google services aren't beta.
by zoredache / March 10, 2008 4:12 PM PDT
In reply to: What is Public Beta

}} Testing a number of these beta products I have found that this to be true all the time, public or private. The bottom line expectation should be it is a beta not the end product, thus the bugginess.

Google tends to be an good example of an exception, Gmail seemed like it was 'beta' for several years even though it was very stable and bug-free.

On google's stuff Beta seems to mean more that the functionality may be changed at any time, not that it is buggy.

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IMHO...
by JegroVzla / March 11, 2008 1:40 AM PDT
In reply to: What is Public Beta

it all boils down to the organization putting out the "beta". I've been running "alpha" software from Mozilla (Firefox) and Canonical (Ubuntu) without a glitch for years now. On the other hand I've run "gold" software from Microsoft (Windows *) that is all buggy and crashy.

As usual YMMV and your experiences might be totally different to mine, I'm just stating my facts here.

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A Beta is a Beta
by joedelco / March 11, 2008 7:46 AM PDT
In reply to: What is Public Beta

A Beta is a Beta, no matter how you slice it. It is not ready to be sold or marketed as a finished product and since the testers didn't pay for it in the first place, have no reason to complain about it.

The reason that there is a public beta is to have a controlled testing phase before releasing it to the general public. So expect failures and issues with the product and be glad that you got a copy of the product early cause they could make you wait like everyone else...

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Have to remember...
by Nicholas Buenk / March 12, 2008 1:10 AM PDT
In reply to: What is Public Beta

The term beta is computer speak for prototype essentially.
People should never expect it to work perfectly.

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Betas are for suckers!
by PortVista-190953130350169 / March 12, 2008 2:00 AM PDT
In reply to: Have to remember...

A beta is not a prototype. A prototype is usually a piece of code you run before you even begin development, just to see if a specific concept will work. A beta is used to uncover any bugs that developers would not normally find on their own. It's a big task, because developers cannot fully realize all the different ways an app will be used or run.

So, what developers will do is instead of hiring beta testers, they will put it up on download.com and let you suckers use test it for free. Many users will even get on forums (FOR FREE) and post the exact errors they are getting! CNET will review it and even find some of their own problems with it. What more could a developer ask for??

So if you download a beta, make sure the company or organization is someone you want to do free work for. I encourage testing for open source communities -- although a lot of these open source communities are setting up LLC's and making huge profits.

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It's not like you don't get anything out of it
by Nicholas Buenk / March 12, 2008 5:45 AM PDT
In reply to: Betas are for suckers!

You get to able to try out an early version of the software, and use it's new features!
So it's not working for free, both people get something.

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