Beta, RC and stable – What does it mean? Software/web development basics.
Somebody asked me a good question the other day: “What’s the difference between Morph ‘beta’ and ‘RC’ and when can I use Morph on a live site?” Let’s explain how we’ve applied software development methods to this project.
Instead of us developing behind closed doors, you have been able to be a part of this (nearly one year) long process. The involvement of testers, breakers and limit-pushers is incredibly important because you (as a joomla user) are the target market for the product (Morph).
First of all: A warm thank you to everybody testing Morph! Your bug reports, feature requests and general feedback made Morph into what it is today…so keep up the good and much appreciated feedback for upcoming development.
The average consumer of themes and templates might not be familiar with versioning systems, being in beta, Release Candidate and such, so lets explain it:
“Versioning” is when the developer of a product assign a unique number (or name) to every new update/release. In this case, it helps you see when there’s a new update available of Morph, Configurator or the themelet you are using.
There are a few different versioning schemes, but we’ve chosen to use a sequence-based system starting with a zero (0.xx) while in beta (0.01, 0.02 etc) and when out of beta we start using 1.xx, for example 1.01, 1.02 etc.
checks what versions you have installed and then queries our development database for updates. If we have a newer version available for you, you will see this in your dashboard (see screenshot) and if you’re a club member you can go and download it.
“Beta” is one of the first levels of development. Being in beta means the product has most of the main features, but is not yet complete.
A beta version of a product can be (and probably is) very unstable and in need of a lot of work, so it is not
recommended for use on a live site.
We decided to release the beta version of Morph in 2 stages, first to a selected group of testers. They helped us discover the basic usability improvements that needed to be done, as well as a lot of the major bugs to be fixed before we could release Morph beta to a wider range of testers (our club members).
Morph Release Candidate (RC)
This is where we are today
, at a development stage between beta and stable release. Morph is nearly ready for stable release, but may still have a few bugs which we want to make sure we find and iron out (if they exist).
“The term release candidate (RC) refers to a version with potential to be a final product, ready to release unless fatal bugs emerge. In this stage of product stabilization…all product features have been designed, coded and tested through one or more Beta cycles with no known showstopper-class bug.” Wikipedia
This means Morph is still not
intended for use on a live site, unless you are aware of possible risks and make sure you do a backup of your site before installing Morph (so you can revert back if anything goes wrong).
Next step: Morph stable release
Now, this is what we’re all looking forward to! ;)
“…a version that has been through enough real-world testing to reasonably assume there are no significant problems, or at least that any problems are known and documented.” Wikipedia
At this stage Morph is ready to be released for use on a live site
, for all your Joomla projects! This is the last status given to Morph and from here you will see the 1.xx versioning, with xx increasing when we include a new feature or doing some bug fixing (which of course will be a continuous process to improve Morph).
I hope this answers all questions you might have about when you can use Morph on a live site and what all those numbers and letters mean (versioning)? ;)
Tags: development, Joomla, Morph