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Author Topic: Et tu Adobe?  (Read 8284 times)

Madness

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Et tu Adobe?
« on: January 09, 2006, 06:14:04 AM »

What is it with all these beta versions? Seems like everything is released as a beta these days. The web 2.0/beta sindrome...
Hopefuly, unlike Google, they actually grow out of it and release a final version.

Although I give them credit for trying to satisfy custumers by giving them a chance to contribute in the development process.

What do you guys think? Which is better?

a ) Release a beta and give the users a chance to find the bugs before the final version.

b ) Release the final version and follow up with regular updates as new bugs are discovered.

Essentially both options are the same but does a beta give them an edge over competition?
« Last Edit: January 09, 2006, 06:14:35 AM by Madness »
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BlasR

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« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2006, 06:34:35 AM »

Any were to crop a photo? I can't find the tools to crop. Any one see it?

Thanks

BlasR

giles

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« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2006, 07:04:51 AM »

Quote
a ) Release a beta and give the users a chance to find the bugs before the final version.

b ) Release the final version and follow up with regular updates as new bugs are discovered.

Essentially both options are the same but does a beta give them an edge over competition?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=55530\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

The options are not really the same if you account for usability feedback and feature requests.  Once a product is "final" developers hesitate to make incompatible changes, but pre-release it is reasonable to do so.

For bug fixing the options are almost the same, but there is a difference is in customer expectation.  For release software finding bugs is unwelcome and tarnishes the software's reputation; for pre-release software it's less of an issue: the software is seen to be unready rather than low quality.

An example is the web slideshow that Michael generated: the results as-is are unusable since there is no way to scroll images that don't display fully, yet I'm sure Michael has a good feeling for what it's like to use the slideshow preparation feature within Lightbox, and looking at the result lets us get an idea of how usable it's going to be.  (I'm sure too that Adobe will make the output HTML validate before they call the product done.   )

Giles
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Concorde-SST

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« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2006, 01:59:08 PM »

Blas,

there isn´t a crop function (yet) in that program. Read Michael´s article carefully, he stated it in there. Man, I love those "RTFM" replies :-)

all the best,

Andreas.
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61Dynamic

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Et tu Adobe?
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2006, 02:00:28 PM »

If you think the whole beta thing is a new concept, or just gained polularity with "Web 2.0" (which is no more than a marketing term invented by those who screwed up "Web 1.0" and hasn't technicaly happend yet) and Google, then you have a bit to learn about the history of computing.

Beta testing has been around for a great long time and is a great way for a company to get real-world feedback on a product before it officialy ships in order to produce a better product.

The practice for a public beta is relatively new for Adobe and they should be comended for it.

Instead of having the atitude of "Oh Brother, another beta," get into the Adobe forums, place your thoughts and help shape the product for the better before you have to buy it rather than hope they make it better after you buy it.
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Pelao

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« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2006, 03:08:49 PM »

Quote
What is it with all these beta versions? Seems like everything is released as a beta these days. The web 2.0/beta sindrome...
Hopefuly, unlike Google, they actually grow out of it and release a final version.

Although I give them credit for trying to satisfy custumers by giving them a chance to contribute in the development process.

What do you guys think? Which is better?

a ) Release a beta and give the users a chance to find the bugs before the final version.

b ) Release the final version and follow up with regular updates as new bugs are discovered.

Essentially both options are the same but does a beta give them an edge over competition?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=55530\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

One of the key differences, as Michael mentions in his Lightroom article, is that releasing a full version and then fixing bugs means the first users pay for the application and expeirience a lot of issues. To be fair though, even applications released under this method have undergone beta testing, it's just that Adobe have launced a  very public beta test.

This accomplishes feedback from users at a variety of levels, gains penetration onto a lot of computers and by eliciting feedback through a forum they create a sense of involvement and community. Smart move.

Onr thing I did notice is that in the first training video they directly slam the "so-called competition". That's a bit immature - it's always better to let your actions and product cast a shadow over the competition rather than be so direct. Aperture has them concerned. Competition is a good thing!
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bob mccarthy

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« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2006, 03:52:51 PM »

I thought "RawShooter" did a very nice job of releasing a beta, way early and incorporating public feedback into the final product.

Others may have been paying attention!

bob
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Madness

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« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2006, 01:48:00 PM »

I'm definitely not against the concept nor have I just found out about beta releases.    It's just that lately every software company appears to be releasing constantly updated public beta products and never growing out of it, never having the nerve to call it a final despite thousands who are using it pretty much as if it was. What somewhat bothers me (I guess I could call it that) is that artificial state of beta.

I think Giles called it right - custumers expect to find bugs in pre-release software so may be a bit more forgiving. But since no software will ever be perfect you could just keep it in the pre-release stage forever. I guess that someday (or it already has) the alpha release will replace what used to be beta (a limited release for a select few testers). I always thought that once you release something to the general public it's not really a beta anymore.

From my point of view it's simply a matter of nomenclature not the relationship with the company. There's nothing stoping people from giving them feedback and there's nothing stoping a company from releasing updates whatever a given release is called.  

Of course it's a good trend, of course public feedback is a great thing, I applaude Adobe (and others) for what they're doing but on the other hand I just don't see a reason why they have to call it a beta to achive that intereaction. They should promote and react to feedback whatever stage a product is in. That's the point.
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bob mccarthy

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« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2006, 02:40:43 PM »

It's all about creating "BUZZ" before charging. This beta release concept is very effective and you hit the nail on the head when you say the clients are very forgiving. It's as much marketing as product development.

I built a flightsim called "Warbirds" in the mid 90's. (Handle Jokker). It was the first of the massively multiplayer sims playable over the "net". We had no budget for marketing, so we gave the product away for six months before turning on the billing clock (we charged hourly in those days).

The customers became part of the process, we listened, and to this day people still play the game.

I thought the way rawshooter built-out their project was brilliant before going "premium".

I'm guessing, but I think it really influenced Adobe. "Should have" influenced Apple too. Aperture wouldn't be under such harsh light for it's shortcomings

bob
« Last Edit: January 10, 2006, 02:41:53 PM by bob mccarthy »
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jani

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« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2006, 05:23:16 PM »

Quote
I guess that someday (or it already has) the alpha release will replace what used to be beta (a limited release for a select few testers).
Uh, an alpha release used to be even less finished than a beta. The beta was the final stage before release, until someone bright came up with the idea of calling something a gamma release (sheesh). Fortunately, the term "gamma release" hasn't survived, but both alpha and beta are used as I describe it, which is exactly the opposite of how you seem to describe it.

Quote
I always thought that once you release something to the general public it's not really a beta anymore.
Here's a pretty great quote about what makes an alpha or a beta release:

Quote
Alpha: Something works.
Beta: Something works well.
Whether the software is actually made accessible to the public or not doesn't come into it, there's a long and great tradition that beta, alpha and even pre-alpha software is available.

My guess is that the words "alpha release" and "beta release" were originally meant indicate that they're actual "releases", that is "packaged for the public to try out if they dare", while whatever comes before isn't releases as such. Today, this kind of separation is essentially meaningless for many software products, which are available almost straight out of CVS or other versioning systems.
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61Dynamic

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Et tu Adobe?
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2006, 05:35:23 PM »

Quote
Whether the software is actually made accessible to the public or not doesn't come into it, there's a long and great tradition that beta, alpha and even pre-alpha software is available.

My guess is that the words "alpha release" and "beta release" were originally meant indicate that they're actual "releases", that is "packaged for the public to try out if they dare", while whatever comes before isn't releases as such.
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Exactly. And then there are RCs, or Release Candidates which come after the Beta and are essentially finished products minus a few small bugs.
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