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Old 04-25-2010, 02:19 PM   #1
JohnWho
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Right Arrow Beta "testing" observation

To begin, I feel that those of us who use and enjoy Marine Aquarium are all very fortunate to be able to be members of a support forum that includes the actual designer and creator of the program - Jim Sachs.

While I haven't been a member here for a long time, I see that we are also privileged to participate in the beta testing of Marine Aquarium as it is changed and, as we see, improved.

I would like to mention, though, that along with this privilege, we have a certain voluntary responsibility which can be defined in one word: feedback.

It is extremely helpful to Mr. Sachs and anyone else on his team, that those of us who take the time to download and install one of the beta releases, also take just a little time to provide feedback regarding the program and especially as it relates to the changes/features of the beta release.

If you've installed a beta and you aren't having or don't see any problems with it, saying so here on the board I'm sure will provide some reassurance to Jim. In the same vein, if you see anything that doesn't seem right, from a possible minor typo or slight oversight (as was pointed out, changing the date to 2010 in "about"), to something that may be more serious, I would say we should definitely bring it to Jim's attention by posting it in the appropriate thread. Essentially, that is the purpose of software "betas" - find and identify problems before the program goes out to it's main stream users.

We get to have fun with each incremental beta improvement while in some small way contributing to the program.

Works for me.
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Old 04-25-2010, 03:43 PM   #2
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That's what this forum has been for, for the past ten years.... If it hasn't. then a lot of us have been wasting a lot of time!
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Old 04-25-2010, 04:35 PM   #3
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Well said JohnWho.
Run you clever boy. And remember...
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Old 05-25-2010, 02:49 PM   #4
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Thanks Nicki.

Just "bumping" this back up in the Forum as a reminder.

We may be only 1 or 2 "11 betas" away from a new Version 3.1.
I know you think you understand what you thought I said,
but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant!
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Old 05-25-2010, 05:42 PM   #5
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Originally posted by JohnWho:
Just "bumping" this back up in the Forum as a reminder.  
Why.. Surely when this is no longer called a beta (which evidently is imminent) this thread will become redundant.
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Old 05-25-2010, 06:00 PM   #6
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True.

But, while as we get closer to 3.1 with these betas, I believe those of us who have downloaded them really need to report anything we see that needs attention to Jim.

Just trying to remind folks.
I know you think you understand what you thought I said,
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Old 05-25-2010, 11:34 PM   #7
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Google has had "beta" software for years.
"Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Everything else is public relations." - George Orwell
"If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal." - Emma Goldman
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Old 05-26-2010, 02:40 PM   #8
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Also true.

However, I believe MA 3.1 will not be a beta.
I know you think you understand what you thought I said,
but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant!
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Old 05-26-2010, 02:42 PM   #9
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It will no longer have the Beta designation, but like all software that the developer hasn't given up on, it will always be Beta.
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Old 05-26-2010, 05:00 PM   #10
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Even more true.

I know you think you understand what you thought I said,
but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant!
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Old 05-27-2010, 07:48 AM   #11
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Or not.... other people call stable and feature-complete versions "released versions".

Even if there are new features for the next rev, having the intended features for the current rev is enough to count as feature-complete...
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Old 05-27-2010, 09:08 AM   #12
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Originally posted by jleslie:
..., having the intended features for the current rev is enough to count as feature-complete...  
Can you identify the intended features? [Check the SereneScreen site]

Note: That's not intended as a criticism - I'm quite content with what's already in 3.1.
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Old 05-27-2010, 10:07 AM   #13
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Originally posted by Jim Sachs:
It will no longer have the Beta designation, but like all software that the developer hasn't given up on, it will always be Beta.  
That is what I hope we all want, & get. I contently changing(improving)Aquarium, on the screen & in my tanks too.
"Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children."

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Old 05-27-2010, 10:21 AM   #14
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It's strange what that word beta can do to people....

For me, - I like the latest.... call it what you will..... A rose by any other name....
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Old 05-27-2010, 10:38 AM   #15
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Yes, that's what I'm striving to convey - that there's no reason to wait until the last nail is in the coffin of a piece of software before buying.
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Old 05-27-2010, 11:03 AM   #16
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Precisely.

Whether a product is V 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, etc. it is mostly understood that there will be changes and improvements and the version numbers will increase, although there are occasional programs that are released and will never be upgraded.

The connotation around a "beta" - that it may still have bugs/problems but is almost ready for a "final" release - is acceptable to many when the program is being provided for free, but maybe not so much if they are paying for the product.

Just an observation.
I know you think you understand what you thought I said,
but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant!
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Old 05-27-2010, 11:05 AM   #17
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For almost every other software, installing and testing a Beta comes with some amount of new risk.

Each new build of MA3 comes with some amount of new pleasure.

That's even more satisfying, if we have contributed to the refinement.
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Old 05-27-2010, 12:05 PM   #18
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If only I could recapture the heady days of MA1 Beta, when everyone felt that way and sales were 10x what they are now.
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Old 05-27-2010, 12:41 PM   #19
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Originally posted by Jim Sachs:
If only I could recapture the heady days of MA1 Beta, when everyone felt that way and sales were 10x what they are now.  
I found this, from November 18, 2001, to be interesting:

Originally posted by Jim Sachs:
The boxed version of 1.0 is in the warehouse and ready to ship. The downloadable version is done, but the installer is too big. I've insisted that the whole program must fit on a floppy, so Prolific is working to get it from 5 mb down to 1.4 mb.  
Jim, to what do you attribute the fact that 1.0 was selling 10X better than 3.0 currently is?
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Old 05-27-2010, 01:12 PM   #20
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3Dfiles.com, and the fact that millions of kids logged onto it every day to see what new 3D wonders were available. MA1 was the first program to reach 1 million downloads on that site. From there, it went viral.
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