New Builds Team

From Audacity Wiki
Revision as of 15:58, 17 February 2017 by Galeandrews (talk | contribs) (Comments about alpha/beta - I want it to be seen on the article page even if moved later to Talk)
Jump to: navigation, search

The Alpha Test Team is a proposed initiative to widen our pool of testers at the alpha stage.

  • This is for selected alphas, ones that could be suitable for production use.


Have 'Calls for testing' in which we invite testing of new features. Possible examples:

  • Timer Record
  • Scrubbing/Seeking
  • Dark Theme

These might not be actual release candidates, they could be branches that are being worked on. These calls will be for Audacity versions we already have significant confidence in. Crash and burn bugs (when not using the new features) should be very rare indeed.

Testers will sign up in advance, and will get alphas to test when development is ready - not a fixed schedule.


One option is to use Audacity Facebook page for these alpha announcements, including at least a screenshot of the new feature.

  • When we learn of a serious problems with an alpha, we need to post a comment about the issue. That way users actually using alphas in production can do so with much greater safety than otherwise.

Peter 16Feb17: We could also use the Wikipedia page on Audacity. In the info pane on the right of the page there is an entry for "Preview Release" for which our current entry states "None". We could use this field to drive users to a recruitment page for Tester recruiting and give them access to these test alphas (Betas - see Talk page?) and Release Candidates for download.

Confused nomenclature

Gale 17Feb17: Although James now thinks "beta" is the best term to use, some of this page refers to "alphas" so it is confusing.

Although "beta" is more correct, it is the probably the wrong term for us

  • due to the bad experience of the 1.3 Beta series
  • because most of our users don't understand the alpha / beta distinction - I have lost count how many times the nightly builds are referred to as betas.
  • because a beta could/probably will be the same as the corresponding nightly build. If those nightly builds switch between alpha and beta in "About Audacity" it could get confusing (if we call them "beta" then About Audacity must say "beta").

Calling this page "Beta Test Team" means it is necessarily different from the just as important initiative to recruit people to test and report on the nightly builds. The "alpha test team" is likely to become depleted sooner rather than later and so it is essential new blood is attracted that will be fully rather than partially engaged testers. The Beta Test Team initiative if called that must therefore mention the Alpha Test Team initiative so we have the chance of some trickle down from beta testers to nightly build testers.

My vote is for alpha-milestone-<number> for milestones and for topical alphas, <alpha-<feature>-<number> and not to split the testers initiative into two parts (at least, I think that right now).