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
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.
> 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