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Software life cycle

#1
For our coders, what do you think is the best format for the life cycle of a software (e.g. pre-alpha -> alpha -> beta -> gold) or in minecraft's case (/indev/ -> infdev -> alpha/beta basically the same lol -> gold [which is just glorified beta imo]). Or do you even follow a formalized development cycle?
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#2
People forget that Minecraft is a rolling release type - it's continually developing. In actuality, the snapshot versions make it part-rolling (one stable version which is a rolling upgrade - but several unstable versions for testing which are updated regularly and implemented into the stable build when they're ready.) But if they were going to do that, they should have gone straight from alpha to release.

With my project I plan for the official release to be part-rolling. It will have one stable core version as well as various beta unstable updates (or if new features are going to be added, it'll use release-candidates.) This way, people who want to use the core stable version don't have to update so often, but people who want to see new features and bug fixes ahead of time may want to op to update frequently. This is of course optional, any and all versions will remain available long after release and even after support for them has ended - even the unstable testing versions. So one can continue using the same version for as long as they'd like and go back to any version that they want whenever they'd like.

Sorry for the drawn out post Tongue
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#3
Nice thread.

Unlike the majority of software coders, I usually prefer to have my alpha releases semi-stable. I'll usually have a limited number of features in them, but I won't call a release "alpha" unless it at least works. My file exchange software is well beyond what most people would call a first alpha release, yet due to the huge number of bugs in the software I'm still calling it a proof-of-concept release.

I'll typically release a BETA release once everything is completed and I simply need to debug and make some final tweaks. The goal is to have the beta look like the final product is supposed to look. Obviously, especially after a first beta, many changes will need to be made, but I try to make sure that the software is complete enough prior to release that the software gives a realistic snapshot of what the final development will look like.
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#4
(June 9th, 2013 at 4:50 PM)cheesesc4 link Wrote: ---What he said---- Smile
Rolling release schedules are nice. But even if it's rolling release, Minecraft has so many bugs that it's hard to consider it 'gold'.
I mod Paradox games. Click here to see my many adventures in doing that.

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#5
This isn't exactly software, but for my theme developments Alpha means the basic blocks are there, Beta means that for the most part the design is final but the layout almost certainly is, and the launch is usually a final beta, with any small tweaks made based on user design, and then it's "final" - though I'm always open to improvements so it's not really ever "done".
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#6
Well, I guess for my mod development, I'm going to probably follow this release cycle:
Pre-Alpha (basic map created, all countries defined, generic flags)
Alpha (unique flags, more map development, tweaking countries)
Beta (bug testing?)
And it'll probably never leave pre-alpha Tongue
I mod Paradox games. Click here to see my many adventures in doing that.

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#7
Probably? Tongue
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#8
Maybe Tongue. I don't think it's possible to have bugs, when you're not even messing with the code of the game, though.
I mod Paradox games. Click here to see my many adventures in doing that.

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#9
Seems like the planned development cycle always changes once you actually get your hands on with a project. Nothing goes quite as expected. Tongue
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#10
Yeah, it seems it does. For example, read the first few pages of this thread. It was the original thread for Minecraft, and Notch planned out a life cycle a lot different than what it is (and a lot of promised unimplemented features DSmile
I mod Paradox games. Click here to see my many adventures in doing that.

"Join the Army, see the world, meet interesting people - and kill them"
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#11
For me it would go something like

Pre-Alpha: Planning and Idea Development + Proof of Concept
Alpha: Concept Art/Visual Examples
Beta 1: Getting it possible to play/early bugfixes
Beta 2: Bugfix Beta
Full Release: Part Rolling or Final
Err what do I put here?<br /><br />I like Minecraft? I play Minecraft? <br />I play Sim City 4? I play Sim City 4?<br />I also don't like democracy! Wink
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#12
(June 12th, 2013 at 9:50 AM)Durfsurn link Wrote: For me it would go something like

Pre-Alpha: Planning and Idea Development + Proof of Concept
Alpha: Concept Art/Visual Examples
Beta 1: Getting it possible to play/early bugfixes
Beta 2: Bugfix Beta
Full Release: Part Rolling or Final

That's probably the way it should be done for most people right there.
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#13
I assume its a version of the common format.
Err what do I put here?<br /><br />I like Minecraft? I play Minecraft? <br />I play Sim City 4? I play Sim City 4?<br />I also don't like democracy! Wink
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