At 04:01 PM 2/13/2002 +1100, Geoff Harland wrote:
> >The fact that Phoenix is in beta release
> > will generate excitement in anticipation, and I'm sure that Altium is
> > of that. So it should not be secret.
> >
> > So I conclude that it is not in Beta yet.
> >
> > Abdulrahman Lomax
>Altium might not subscribe to the same view. They could, conceivably, argue
>that publicising that beta testing is currently occurring (which the general
>public would infer in the event that a beta tester disclosed that) has the
>potential to compromise their commercial interests, in that their
>competitors would then be aware as to when beta testing is occurring
>(whereas they would not be aware of that if none of the beta testers
>disclosed that).

Let me see if I understand. If Protel allows beta testers to disclose that 
Phoenix is in beta test, then the competition will know that it is in beta 
test. Gee, I hadn't thought of that!

I suppose that all the press releases about what is in Phoenix wouldn't be 
enough to get the competition off their collective duffs, but when they 
hear that it is actually in beta, why, then they will go out and hire 
droves of programmers to deal with the emergency. They will also offer 
Protel beta testers large sums of cash for allowing them a sneak preview, 
thus corrupting the Protel user community. Obviously, for the public 
welfare, and for reasons which have now become clear, beta testing must be 

*What is the problem with the competition knowing that it is in Beta?* They 
know -- they have known for a long time -- that it is coming. They have 
some idea of what is in it, the big deal, probably, being the autorouter. 
They gain no advantage by knowing that it is in beta. None. I was being 
sarcastic, of course, but the only gain I could think of was that they 
could try to bribe a beta tester. And they could do that anyway. Risky 
business, though.

On the other hand, right now someone contemplating a Protel purchase might 
be tempted to think that Phoenix is vaporware. As soon as it is known that 
it is in beta, that obstruction vanishes.

In other words, secrecy for beta equals loss for Protel and Protel users.

Sure, they might not agree. But, as I said, I'd be surprised. It's not in 
beta, Occam's razor.

They would have to have selected a whole new crew of beta testers, which 
would kind of trash the idea of having experienced users beta test.

Yes, it's a problem. But it may not be such a big one. Sure, it means that 
Phoenix might be released with inadequate beta testing. But if patches to 
fix bugs are quickly available, and if the bugs are not bad -- which they 
might verify in a month of beta -- then it is no longer so important that 
everything get found and fixed before release.

Sure, they should do beta testing for a longer period, if they want to 
avoid reinforcing the bad reputation that has plagued Protel. But quick 
response to bugs and complaints will be more important.

Tsien gets bug reports and fixes the software and sends a patch within 
days, I think. That might be too fast, but not necessarily....

Abdulrahman Lomax
Easthampton, Massachusetts USA

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