Beta: Making it More Clear

(Mathew Mitchell) #1

In a previous topic (now closed) @LaPan wrote:

On every beta release it reads thusly:

This is a beta release of RapidWeaver, do not install this unless you are comfortable with using pre-release software. Please backup all of your project before using.

Also, when reporting bugs in the beta release, please use the GREEN feedback button at the top right of the Rapidweaver.

In an ideal universe that’s exactly what should happen. But I see no such thing. If I’m using 7.3.3 the notice I get is posted below. I think for a regular user there’s no clear indication that this new version is a beta. I realize it has weird numbering, and there’s a “b” at the end of the number, but realistically RM would avoid a LOT of unintentional downloads of betas if Brian’s claimed message was actually present at the moment of deciding whether to download or not.

(Mathew Mitchell) #2

I also did a reinstall of 7.4 beta from 7.3.3. At no point: download, installation, startup of the 7.4 beta, was there the message that @LaPan claimed would appear.

BTW, this is nothing new. I have seen this supposed message only once or twice in the past 12 months. It rarely appears.

I write this as a person who knowingly has the “check for beta updates” checked on in my preferences. And I don’t mind testing out a beta. But it’s very clear that many others are surprised they are using a beta. Just sayin.

(Mathew Mitchell) #4

I’m writing this not because of users accidentally downloading betas. But it seems to me that the developers are tired of users doing this accidentally and the forums/emails coming in that potentially waste their time. If the developers want only people who are consciously willing to be beta-testers (which is probably exactly what they want) then it’s in the developer’s interest to making it even clearer. It should end up saving them time.

And, of course, there’s the small issue of if you claim you do something but in fact you’re not doing it (i.e. the message above) then you are bound to have problems. Perhaps @LaPan and others really believe the message given above is attached somehow to each new beta. But it ain’t. Perhaps they are frustrated because they think they’ve made things painfully clear, but if the end-user is never seeing that message then we have a “communication problem”.

Not sure where the problem lies in all of this. I certainly agree with you in theory, but it seems in practice not making things clear enough just causes more headaches for the developers.

(Mathew Mitchell) #7


and a few more characters

(Psalm66_ Ray) #8

I’m a nube, but when I see version 7.3.41825aa I just assume it’s a beta and I ignore it. When it’s a “ready for installing release”, I also get an email from the boys and then install it. It’s not rocket science. I’m with RW management on this one.

(Doug Bennett) #9

The only time you will get the update notice for beta versions is if you have selected to be notified of beta releases. It defaults to being off It is labeled the Danger Zone

If you select this you then have to confirm this what you want:

(Mathew Mitchell) #10

Doug: yes, I realize that. I have it on and “on purpose”. My comment is only in regards to Brian’s statement that:

On every beta release it reads thusly:

This is a beta release of RapidWeaver, do not install this unless you are comfortable with using pre-release software. Please backup all of your project before using.

Also, when reporting bugs in the beta release, please use the GREEN feedback button at the top right of the Rapidweaver.

This clearly doesn’t happen. Or, if it happens for you, there’s a lot of us that it doesn’t happen for. It seems Brian is frustrated that folks don’t read this notice when there’s a new beta update. All I’m saying is there is no such notice for most of us to read.

I don’t get fooled because (1) I’m willing to test out betas, and (2) I can infer from the numbering of the new update that it’s a beta. But nothing is explicitly indicated. And, in turn, that might partly explain why a number of people were surprised they downloaded a beta.

BTW with some software I’ll check the enable beta updates option): but that other software always clearly indicates if the new update is “beta” or “real/final”. It’s a standard of communication that I think a lot of people are used to.

(Brian LaPan) #11

It is mentioned on every Forum Post where betas are released. If it’s not, then I will apologize for those times (and it usually gets corrected once I notice that since I don’t make the release notes).

I’m not sure how you see my reply as frustrated (or worse yet, saying that one of us laughed at you in support???) rather it was straight to the point, factual and meant to close the conversation for future users who may have stumbled into the same conundrum as you have.

We always work to be respectful in our communications even when the other side is not (as many can attest to).

(Mathew Mitchell) #12

Brian: I am sorry, but I took your message to mean such a message is present every time there is an announcement within RW that there is a new version ready. A few times those “inside RW announcements” have made it clear it’s a beta. Mostly not. I think you are right about the forums: I believe those have always been clear. My guess is most folks first encounter a beta when they open RW, not by looking at a forum. It’s certainly what the behavior/surprise of many uses seems to suggest.

(Mathew Mitchell) #13

I have no idea what this part of your message refers to. Maybe you have me mixed up with someone.

(Brian LaPan) #14

Sorry, that wasn’t directed at you directly, but it’s been part of this subject in other threads:

"Just got a response from RW Support along the lines of “haha, it’s beta software”

(Mathew Mitchell) #15

Ah, got it and understood. I think you all do a marvelous job and I love using RW. (I even secretly enjoy testing out the betas even if there are crashes. Not a biggie.) But I have seen too many “I’m crashing, how do I go backwards” comments from users. Not sure exactly how to reduce it.

(Pete Schuder) #16

Just ignore them, would be my approach. You know the old adage, “You can lead a horse to water…”.

When dealing with a cross section of customers, some will always come up short in the logic area…:slight_smile:

(Robert Ziebol 🖖🏼) #17

I honestly do not understand how someone who has to either check a box saying they want to download betas or push a button to enable beta updates has any right to then come and complain about the reason why they are downloading betas in the first place. Responsibility has to start somewhere, and if you click it or push it, it should start there.

These are my own opinions and do not represent anyone other than me.

(Keith Flanagan ) #18

Robert, completely agree. If you are not willing to take a risk or are not running in an NPE then don’t do the Beta. Yes it is nice to play with the new toys before anyone else but the toys are not fully built so you get what you get.

My issue stems from non-beta. That should have very few bugs if it was properly tested which is not always the case. YMMV