Linked by weildish on Sat 7th Feb 2009 10:59 UTC
Windows One of the big hypes of Windows 7 was the new integrated touch and multitouch features unheard of in previous systems. On paper, it all looks nice, but the folks over at Engadget recently tested out these said features of the beta on an HP TouchSmart PC, and were underwhelmed by the efficiency of the features.
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RE[6]: not astonishing
by abraxas on Sat 7th Feb 2009 23:57 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: not astonishing"
abraxas
Member since:
2005-07-07

Where are we getting this definition of beta, last I knew, beta just means not final, and is up to a wide interpretation, some software is feature complete at beta, some isn't, some is at alpha, some isn't, in fact, i've seen RC's that didn't have features the final did, there isn't one set standard for any of these buzz words, and every company will define it's meaning in a way they see fit.

I love how this argument comes back like a crack addict, when there is no basis to stand on for either side.


It's not really up to wide interpretation in the general software development world. The only real reason people seem to be confused by the concept is because of the way Microsoft and a few other large software producers label their releases. The concept of alpha and beta releases has been around for a very long time but the confusion about what the terms mean is a relatively recent phenomenom. It probably doesn't help that a lot of people that have never developed software throw those terms around without really knowing what they mean.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[7]: not astonishing
by hollovoid on Sun 8th Feb 2009 00:58 in reply to "RE[6]: not astonishing"
hollovoid Member since:
2005-09-21

But this long standing method seems to be an unwritten method to be passed down, I have not seen any genuine guideline that describes what is to be done or what is not to be done in the process of a beta and alpha, or even an RC. While working at Xerox, different teams even had different objectives for each stage, where features were added late in a release candidate as long as they weren't impossibly complex to implement, whereas others would not out of "principal". Many people look how its done in their favorite project and make noise when another project does it differently, saying it's incorrect, I just don't see how they could possibly know what is "correct".

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[8]: not astonishing
by abraxas on Sun 8th Feb 2009 05:08 in reply to "RE[7]: not astonishing"
abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

But this long standing method seems to be an unwritten method to be passed down, I have not seen any genuine guideline that describes what is to be done or what is not to be done in the process of a beta and alpha, or even an RC. While working at Xerox, different teams even had different objectives for each stage, where features were added late in a release candidate as long as they weren't impossibly complex to implement, whereas others would not out of "principal". Many people look how its done in their favorite project and make noise when another project does it differently, saying it's incorrect, I just don't see how they could possibly know what is "correct".


The terms "alpha" and "beta" in reference to software were invented by IBM and they have meant pretty much the same thing since punch cards. It wasn't until 10 years ago or so when "beta" became a marketing term somehow. Since then people have used the word "beta" to describe anything unfinished. It's annoying to hear people embrace this usage on a technical site like OSnews. Honestly I have never seen "alpha" and "beta" misused by software companies for anything other than marketing.

Reply Parent Score: 2