General Development

Testing Phases...... – CPUFreak91



Posts: 2337
Registered: 02-01-2005
Hey all, I got to thinking, and discovered that I really don't know what alpha, beta, etc testing is. And versions! So here I am calling my programs (XX) Version 0.2 and not really knowing much about versions and such! It shocked me to think that all this time, I didn't know!
So, what's the trick to all this ?

There are two ways of constructing a software design: one way is to make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies; the other is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies.

--C. A. R. Hoare



Posts: 742
From: Stony Plain, Alberta, Canada
Registered: 01-20-2001
Really, it doesn't matter too much, and it's up to you.

My employer does it as follows:
- alpha: the first stable build that resembles what the final product will look like
- beta: mostly finished, released to a list of beta testers to help weed out the last bugs

For version numbering, this is common:
- first number: major number, indicates main version
- second number: minor number, indicates patch or update to the major version




Posts: 654
From: Pacific Northwest
Registered: 03-22-2005
I've never actually worked anywhere who does alpha releases, but here's my take.

Alpha - Like BrianT said, it should resemble the final product. May only contain the major/large features. Many other features may be lacking and missing. Things can still change at this stage. File formats may change. Bitmaps/graphics are certainly not complete. Number of testers is small at this point.

Beta - Feature-rich and getting close to final version. Full stability is not expected, but should still be rather stable. No one wants to test something which crashes every 5 minutes. Any missing feature or bug is usually noted. Number of testers increases.

Another type is an early adopter release. We did this at one company I worked for and it was very successful. Early adopter releases gave customers the chance to play with a working version of the software. It gave them an early opportunity to begin writing software using our API set. By the time of the final release, the cutomers already had a deep understanding of the new product. They had already written code to take advantage of the upcoming product. On that note though, nothing is ever considered final and the final product may require a few coding changes. It's sort of between an alpha and beta and prepares a customer for what's coming up. Microsoft does this with their development envrionments. This gives developers the opportunity to begin writing software prior to the actual release.



Posts: 1061
From: Port Angeles, WA, USA
Registered: 10-25-2001
your descriptions are good
sadly though, the ideal you mentioned in beta, is more like service pack 2 or 3

Visionary Media
the creative submitted to the divine.
Husband of my amazing wife Aleshia



Posts: 107
Registered: 02-27-2005
Now now klumsy, you wouldn't be hinting slanderous remarks to a particular complany now would you?