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  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast blwire's Avatar
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    To beta? or not to beta?

    Hey im in the process of building an online app and wanted to ask everyone's opinion on the "beta" button. My site will truly be going through beta, but wanted to know if its starting to become more of a turn off these days with the web 2.0 flood. Would a v1.0 or something seem more attractive you think?

  2. #2
    Non-Member eautocad's Avatar
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    beta it IF you have trademark, patent, and a legit company to back it up...

    if not, I wouldn't... what would keep people from stealing it?
    Last edited by r937; Jul 27, 2008 at 03:12.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Enthusiast blwire's Avatar
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    Why beta only if you have some legal entity with it? Every idea out there gets knocked off. You can judge your success by the number of clones that come up afterwards

  4. #4
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    google does it, i wouldn't worry about it.

  5. #5
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    Beta is most common and used

  6. #6
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    beta is a good way to get feedback early on. Just don't release a beta that isn't functional or will never leave beta status.
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  7. #7
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    vote for beta more,
    for your reference only ...


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  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard mPeror's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blwire View Post
    Hey im in the process of building an online app and wanted to ask everyone's opinion on the "beta" button. My site will truly be going through beta, but wanted to know if its starting to become more of a turn off these days with the web 2.0 flood. Would a v1.0 or something seem more attractive you think?
    Well if your application still isn't considered stable yet, then you shouldn't go straight to v1.0. Start with "beta" first so you can test your work and fix the nasty bugs. Once you make sure it's running smoothly, take out from the beta stage.

    Don't abuse "beta" like Google does where they have 1-2 years long betas.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Zealot Rexibit's Avatar
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    When you "Beta," it lets the user know that it isn't the first "real" application or product. It brings them in with the satisfaction of knowing that their input and use of it will lead to its improvement over time. This allows them to feel a part of making something bigger, that might lead to wide use.

    It is all about how the user interacts with it over time. Beta anything that will be widely used, and has a good chance for defects should the chaos theory be applied to it from users using it in a way you never intended.
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  10. #10
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    As long as you will be out of beta at some point or another it should be fine

  11. #11
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    Hello,
    Could someone explain to me what 'BETA' means?
    I am new to web Design. What is Web 2.0 also?
    Thanks

  12. #12
    Now available in Orange Tijmen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wisfort View Post
    Hello,
    Could someone explain to me what 'BETA' means?
    I am new to web Design. What is Web 2.0 also?
    Thanks
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  13. #13
    Follow Me On Twitter: @djg gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Grossman's Avatar
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    I've run both closed and open betas of the last two major versions of W3Counter. I leave the current version up and put the beta at beta.w3counter.com for the testers. It lets me get a few real users on there who I know will let me know if something's not working as it should before I update the app on all the users.

  14. #14
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    I think beta is legitimate. It tells people that your app as they see it is not complete. This way they will know why it doesn't look complete and they will also know to get back to it later.

  15. #15
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    To me Alpha is like
    "It's together and I know it's very rough and has bugs, but hey I'm still working on it"
    and Beta is like
    "AFAIK, the bugs are out of it as best as I've been able to test it. But I sure could benefit from others using it just to make sure it works in other use conditions"
    and RC is like
    "OK, it's been tested, debugged, and unless something comes up, it's ready for prime time"
    then the version upgrades are for futher enhancement (bloat), any more bugs that may turn up, and compatabilty changes.

  16. #16
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    Alpha - the application has most of the basic functionality in place but may still be missing a few feature but I am releasing it so that people can provide feedback on the what is already there including suggestions on additional features for the product.

    Beta - All of the functionality is there but the final parts such as the installer and documentation and possibly cosmetic are still being finished off but I am releasing it so people can provide feedback on the bugs that weren't found during in-house testing.

    Gamma/Gold - any future development will be in the form of bug fixes and new versions of the software because this version is considered to be complete.

    Releasing Alpha and Beta versions for others to test should only be done after the software has been through all stages of in-house testing (although you may get away with releasing an alpha version before running a QA test).
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  17. #17
    SitePoint Addict JNKlein's Avatar
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    It depends on what your application does. Sometimes it's good to "release early and release often," sometimes to do a "grand opening." Without more info, no idea which to recommend
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  18. #18
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    An alpha release is almost always a closed one where you decide who to offer the opportunity to see the alpha.

    A beta can be open or closed. You don't have to make it available to everyone, you can limit it to just a select handful of people whose opinions you trust.
    Stephen J Chapman

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  19. #19
    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eautocad View Post
    beta it IF you have trademark, patent, and a legit company to back it up...

    if not, I wouldn't... what would keep people from stealing it?
    You may be confusing 'beta' with something else. It is not a legal term.

    The original question asked whether the term 'beta' was getting too cliche and might be a turn-off.

    I would say that it definitely isn't. The general public, by and large, are still coming to terms with what it actually means (as can be seen in this thread) so the term is certainly not worn out.

    To me it still signifies that something is fresh, new, and 'worth trying out' which is precisely what 'beta' is supposed to mean, despite perpetual betas such as Gmail, and previously Google News and Flickr.

    It would be much better to use 'beta' than 'v1.0'. If nothing else, the Web 2.0 movement has taught people that the label '1.0' signifies something that is old fashioned and unfriendly. And this is only half tongue-in-cheek.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rexibit View Post
    When you "Beta," it lets the user know that it isn't the first "real" application or product. It brings them in with the satisfaction of knowing that their input and use of it will lead to its improvement over time. This allows them to feel a part of making something bigger, that might lead to wide use....
    That's a good point. I definitely agree with this.

  21. #21
    SitePoint Enthusiast blwire's Avatar
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    +1 above. Im gonna have a feedback tab so i will be asking for user input. Also agree on the feeling apart of something. It is an app that will have a targeted audience so big plus. I guess I will put the beta stamp on for now. I though about it for a more business audience and noted the "unstability" it might portray. So i guess it comes down to the audience and image your trying to get.

  22. #22
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    "Loves you" is the new "beta". Flickr told me.

  23. #23
    Mouse catcher silver trophy Stevie D's Avatar
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    If it's an upgrade of an existing app/site, put out the beta and give people the option. Some will choose the new and exciting one and will give you feedback on what works and what doesn't, and others will choose the old and boring one that they know will work. Then everyone is happy.

    If it's completely new, put it out in with a note to indicate it is still in 'beta' and people might experience some problems, and you'd like to know what those problems are so they can be put right quickly.

    Once it is tested and stable enough to be called beta rather than alpha, I don't reckon there are any big reasons for holding back - unless your user base is by and large very untechnical, and likely to struggle with anything different that doesn't work exactly as expected.

  24. #24
    SitePoint Evangelist happyoink's Avatar
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    I would release it as beta, let people test it and report bugs etc. Then once the major bugs have been squashed, use RC for further testing and squashing of minor bugs that have been reported. At this stage I would use RC1, RC2, etc to divide this stage up. And then once the app is ready to be released, label it as GOLD. The version (v1.0, v1.1.0, v1.1.1, etc) method can be used if you improve the app after it's gone GOLD.

    Just a thought.

  25. #25
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    google mail is still beta.


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