After all of the great feedback we got on our most recent beta (thanks again to everyone who participated) we’ve made a small change to our release cycle to keep the feedback alive. It’s mainly for those of you who like to keep on top of the latest developments and enjoy the wild and crazy life on the bleeding edge. We have so many great new suggestions to implement that we want to make sure to get them into the hands of users as soon as possible, but without causing unnecessary headaches for users who want or need things to stay more stable.
To this end we’re introducing a new “rolling beta” system. Under this new system all of our products will have a new beta release every couple of weeks (plus or minus a few days). Some of these releases will be fairly minor with only a few small tweaks for fixes, and others will introduce new and larger features. We’ll try to keep them as small enough that they don’t introduce too many changes at once, but large enough to make it worthwhile to download them and give them a try. Getting the betas will be very simple, no need to do anything special, no special licenses required, no sign-up, and no expectations to provide feedback or bug reports (but they’re always welcome). If you want to keep working only with stable releases, then there’s nothing to do as the betas are entirely “opt-in”.
Getting the Betas
The first of these rolling betas will have already come out by the time you read this. To get them you can follow one of these links below. These links will always get the most recent betas.
If there isn’t currently a beta available because the latest stable release is more recent, these links will get that release instead. In essence, these links will always be the freshest.
You can always access the Update Notes for the most recent betas using these links.
Getting Notifications of New Betas
Our products have always included an optional Auto Update Check which can notify you within the application that a new version is available. When running a release version of the software this auto check will only look for newer stable releases (and skip betas). Beta versions also check for new betas and starting now (in the current betas) you can set an optional flag to always look for new betas even when running a release version (available in the preferences).
Additionally, you can sign up to receive e-mail notifications of new betas. You can then decide whether the changes in the beta are something you want to try.
As mentioned above, feedback is always welcome. We have always followed a “squeaky wheel” policy, as some of our squeakiest wheels know. We’re not always able to get to suggestions right away, especially for the larger or more complicated features, but rest assured that we take all feedback very seriously and everything gets logged into our database for implementation in the future. You know your jobs better than we do. There hasn’t been much that we’ve discarded, though sometimes we do combine ideas or make changes so that the ideas work more generally. And don’t be shy about suggesting something twice or bringing it back into our attention, it’ll help us to gauge the need and prioritize.
Feedback on betas can come in using any of our support channels but the best way is to use our Forums as this will let other users see the suggestions and comment or add to them.
We’re hoping that keeping this second method of public releases alive will provide a good balance between stability and a faster feedback loop. We may make adjustments as time goes on depending on how things go (speeding up or slowing down updates, or maybe adding a third type of release). We want to provide a way for you to feel a part of the development cycle, and hopefully this will provide that.