Current beta builds available on demand? Why?

Hi, Notch Team.
Looking through this forum I came across a pretty uncommon policy: users are advised to write to Support for a current Notch Beta build (0.9.18).
Wouldn’t it be more convenient to make links to current builds available to any registered user on this forum or in the private download area?
Why should we bother your support team with such trivial matters? I mean no offense, guys. It’s just a question.
Thank you.

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Hi Andrei,
I’ll explain our release policy.

Notch is officially in beta. We constantly roll development, adding new features, improving things and fixing bugs, in line with our internal long-term and short-term plans and the needs of users. We also test as we go along. At certain intervals we lock a release down, put it through more thorough testing, sort out samples and documentation and communications around the changes, and put it out as a new point release (0.9.17, 0.9.18 etc) on the site.

There are two reasons we don’t provide a “nightly build”.

  1. Unlike most pieces of software that are “in beta”, there is a demand on Notch - particularly in playback - to be absolutey rock solid stable, because they could be used on a project/show at any time. The version we put out on the site has been through quality control to help ensure that. We may supply users who need it with latest builds in order to fix issues they may be having (and with the caveat they are intermediate builds - and sometimes that they should not be used on a show, only to test the issue is fixed), but we need to control the spread of those builds in case they are not show ready or in case issues are uncovered with that build later on: it enables us to notify people directly who are using them of those issues. If we make it a free-for-all, builds that are not show ready will inevitably be used on shows whether we like it or not.
  2. With the current build, its often possible that a feature in development may be changed or removed before the next full point release. We don’t want people to be relying on those features too early if they’re going to change.

All that said, as our userbase grows we will at some point soon be introducing a “beta-beta” programme where the latest builds are made available before full release, for those who want to live on the bleeding edge…

-Matt

Hi, Matt.
Thank you. I see your point. But on the other hand, community may be very helpful on testing and polishing stages of development. Sometimes, some really useful and practical features fall out of focus of developers and it takes years to get back to implementing them. C4d is a good example of that. Moreover, people often report critical bugs that managed to sneak through quality control.

As far as personal beta delivery is concerned, making the ‘bete-beta’ available in the personal download area could let you track users who use it. By doing so you may even make people who download it sign the disclaimer. Thus you might be able to avoid the reputational damage caused by failures during shows. But anyway, you are in a better position to judge. Hopefully, Notch will soon gain the popularity needed for the nightly builds, which will be awesome. Again, thanks for the explanation.

Andy

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Agreed with @andybee40 here… betas exist to build stability. Users are certainly the most thorough QA I know of. Derivative runs a “beta” with their experimental branch and nobody I know complains about it breaking in production.

@mattswoboda What’s the rough ETA on v1? Anytime this year?

Kudos for digging up a 5-year-old thread :slight_smile:

We have a small group of early-access users that help us test all of our builds before they go out. That’s not related to the beta label though.

The goal is to ship 1.0 this year. Announcements about staged publicly available beta builds will be happening in due course.

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