Pre-Beta (was What sets the 'best' interaction designers apart?)

4 Feb 2007 - 8:10pm
7 years ago
1 reply
603 reads
cfmdesigns
2004

On Feb 4, 2007, at 11:56 AM, Jared M. Spool wrote:

>
> On Feb 4, 2007, at 12:42 PM, David Malouf wrote:
>
>> The future is a project being work on now in a closed beta
>
> Serious question: What's the difference between a "closed beta" and
> an "alpha"?

Probably only a mental separation, I would think.

Myself, I despise "alpha" releases to select customers. I'm used to
milestone point of "alpha" being "good enough for QA to deal with it
and post bugs against it" and "beta" being "good enough for people
outside of engineering to deal with it", sometimes with a "second
beta" for select people outside the company. With today's "public
beta", I guess three beta milestones is too much, so they push things
back into alpha.

I'm sure that valuable info can and does come back from these push
outs, but my experience says they are mostly beneficial for
marketing, to get select, important customers signed up for the next
version months before it's actually released. For QA, they end up
being a headache: development gets pushed to respond mostly to the
feedback from the "alpha customers", making QA wonder what the heck
they are being paid for as they see their bugs sidelined to keep
schedules clear for future customer feedback, only to see that
feedback come in weeks later marking the same issues QA found back
when it could have been addressed more effectively. Sigh.

-- Jim

Comments

5 Feb 2007 - 10:16am
DrWex
2006

> > On Feb 4, 2007, at 12:42 PM, David Malouf wrote:
> >
> >> The future is a project being work on now in a closed beta
> >
> > Serious question: What's the difference between a "closed beta" and
> > an "alpha"?

In software development where I began the difference between and alpha
and a beta was whether or not there were known serious bugs or missing
functionality. So if a release had a (known) bug that might crash it,
or might lose data it was an alpha. Once a release had fixed all such
known bugs and had implemented all intended functionality, it was a
beta candidate.

The notion of "closed" is orthogonal, referring only to the degree to
which the alpha or beta release is distributed. Open meaning you
don't control or pre-select who gets it. Anyone who signs up or
passes some minimal hurdle (e.g. signing an NDA) can get into an
"open" alpha or beta.

I haven't encountered anything in the IxD space that would cause me to
change these working definitions - am I missing something?

Syndicate content Get the feed