Linux -- "alpha" and "stable" applications?

Linux -- "alpha" and "stable" applications?

Post by Benjamin She » Fri, 12 Mar 1999 04:00:00



Dear friends:

I have noticed at the new Linux section of the Tucows web site that Linux
applications are usually listed as "alpha" or "stable."' Having just read
the Intro to Linux Documentation about the "alpha" and "stable" stages, I
am a little confused. Is "stable" a synonym for "Beta"? Usually an
application is offered in two versions "stable version 1.x;new version 2.x"
and so forth. When can one feel confident enough to download a Linux
application?

Thank you.

Benjamin
--
Benjamin Sher

Sher's Russian Web & Index
http://personal.msy.bellsouth.net/msy/s/h/sher07/index.html

 
 
 

Linux -- "alpha" and "stable" applications?

Post by Mark Tranchan » Fri, 12 Mar 1999 04:00:00


Read the authors' comments. If they say "DEVELOPERS ONLY! THIS SOFTWARE
WILL DESTROY YOUR MACHINE!!", take care. Version numbers mean little:
many KDE applications are very stable, and yet are version 0.x. KWord,
part of the KOffice suite, is meant to be usable for everyday
lightweight work, and is v0.0.1!.

Look at the Linux kernel: 1.2.13 was very stable, 2.1.44 could trash
filesystems. 2.2.3 seems OK, but 2.2.4 could let a devastating bug slip
out.

Advice: get the version that the authors seem to be pushing you towards,
and try it. It is phenomenally unlikely you'll do any costly damage -
the only thing you might waste is time.

Alpha means suitable for development testing, with the intention of
making more improvements and fixes. Beta tends to signify the approach
of a formal production release, after testing satisfies the authors they
have wiped out the important bugs. Development and stable are not quite
synonymous with alpha/beta/production, therefore.

Mark.


> I have noticed at the new Linux section of the Tucows web site that Linux
> applications are usually listed as "alpha" or "stable."' Having just read
> the Intro to Linux Documentation about the "alpha" and "stable" stages, I
> am a little confused. Is "stable" a synonym for "Beta"? Usually an
> application is offered in two versions "stable version 1.x;new version 2.x"
> and so forth. When can one feel confident enough to download a Linux
> application?


 
 
 

Linux -- "alpha" and "stable" applications?

Post by Jean-Yves TOUMI » Fri, 12 Mar 1999 04:00:00


Quote:> > I have noticed at the new Linux section of the Tucows web site that Linux
> > applications are usually listed as "alpha" or "stable."' Having just read
> > the Intro to Linux Documentation about the "alpha" and "stable" stages, I
> > am a little confused. Is "stable" a synonym for "Beta"? Usually an
> > application is offered in two versions "stable version 1.x;new version 2.x"
> > and so forth. When can one feel confident enough to download a Linux
> > application?

Well, if I wanted to be bad to Microsoft, I would say that "alpha" linux
stuff is
equivalent to "beta" MS products, "beta" linux programs are "stable" MS
products
and "stable" linux apps don't exist under Windows...
Just being a bit *... ;-)
Anyway, there _are_ some bugs in linux, nobody's perfect!

--
Jean-Yves TOUMIT

http://www.veryComputer.com/

 
 
 

Linux -- "alpha" and "stable" applications?

Post by gus » Fri, 12 Mar 1999 04:00:00



> > > I have noticed at the new Linux section of the Tucows web site that Linux
> > > applications are usually listed as "alpha" or "stable."' Having just read
> > > the Intro to Linux Documentation about the "alpha" and "stable" stages, I
> > > am a little confused. Is "stable" a synonym for "Beta"? Usually an
> > > application is offered in two versions "stable version 1.x;new version 2.x"
> > > and so forth. When can one feel confident enough to download a Linux
> > > application?
> Well, if I wanted to be bad to Microsoft, I would say that "alpha" linux
> stuff is
> equivalent to "beta" MS products, "beta" linux programs are "stable" MS
> products
> and "stable" linux apps don't exist under Windows...
> Just being a bit *... ;-)
> Anyway, there _are_ some bugs in linux, nobody's perfect!

> --
> Jean-Yves TOUMIT

> http://www.veryComputer.com/

This is an important point, there are some bugs in Linux. The big
difference between Linux and M$ bugs is that we can count the Linux
bugs, and that we can count on them being fixed ;-)

gus

 
 
 

Linux -- "alpha" and "stable" applications?

Post by Paul Kimo » Fri, 12 Mar 1999 04:00:00



> I have noticed at the new Linux section of the Tucows web site that Linux
> applications are usually listed as "alpha" or "stable."' Having just read
> the Intro to Linux Documentation about the "alpha" and "stable" stages, I
> am a little confused. Is "stable" a synonym for "Beta"?

The labels are completely up to the personal standards of the
developers.  

Sometimes "alpha" means "features may still be added", not "may
not work".  For example, the teTeX 1.0 distribution (of TeX, etc.)
<URL::http://www.tug.org/tetex> has been at 0.9 beta stage
seemingly forever, but it may be the best available TeX
distribution available for unix anyway.  Likewise, the mutt e-mail
client <URL::http://www.mutt.org> has only recently acquired the
"beta" label, but the last "alpha" releases were as good as many
released programs.

Sometimes "stable" means "unchanging", i.e., "dead".  For example,
you could call perl4 stable; after all, it will never change (as
in, "no Y2K fixes will ever be made to perl4").

--