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Re: Beta testing policy?
Assuming that the SunOS version really is ready for beta-testing as opposed
to alpha-testing (that is, it is pretty reliable until you hit a real bug,
and that doesn't happen more than a few times a day), I would think that
having a lot of beta testers would be the best way to find the remaining
bugs quickly. Maybe ramp up gradually, accepting 3-5 new ones a week.
That way, we can adjust to the increasing flow of bug reports, and not be
hit by a tidal wave. For various politicial reasons, we might want to
favor local users (here and at NMSU and Edinburgh) at first, but we should
later make sure that we have some remote sites in the mix.
The key thing is to make sure that these people really are beta testers.
They should be experienced in (some) Common Lisp and Unix, they should know
how to produce coherent, helpful bug reports, and they should not come to
depend on this software as long as we consider it pre-release. Even when
we release it, we are under no obligation to fix bugs in a timely manner
(you get what you pay for...) but that's especially true now. And the last
thing we want is someone who plans to use this for a class full of
If all goes well, we might have many off campus testers before the end of
July, and by September we may be ready to throw this open to all comers.