Wednesday, September 4, 2019 [Tweets] [Favorites]

What Beta Means

Brent Simmons:

Here are my definitions:

development (d): everything is in progress and the app might be completely unusable.

alpha (a): the app is feature-complete and has no known bugs — but, importantly, it’s had very little testing.

beta (b): the app is feature-complete, has no known bugs, and has been tested — but further testing is still warranted. Every beta is a release candidate.

The definitions I like to use, which I think originally came from Apple’s guidelines, are the same except that known bugs are allowed in the alpha stage. In any case, Apple and most of the rest of the world have moved on to other definitions. All of Apple’s betas these days have known bugs, and they’re usually not feature complete.

2 Comments

"no known bugs"? All software, alpha, beta, or GM ship with known bugs.

@bob Yeah, I think it’s more like “no known bugs that you intend to fix before shipping.” Don’t count an obscure limitation that you decide you don’t care about right now, or something that you can’t fix due to an outside blocker, etc.

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