alpha, beta and release candidate stages

Due to the current activities and RC upgrades to v1.4.0-rc.1-x, I ask to discuss the usual handling of version stages.

I am not a software developer and you are much bigger and better experts than me. I myself come more from the mechanical engineering, so it’s simple. Nevertheless, I know about the differences between the software development phases alpha, beta and release candidate.

I have been using Syncthing for a long time now and it seems to me that v1.4.0 contains some major changes compared to v1.3.4 and compared to previous versions less of v1.3.4. Since RC.1 there have been some major problems, so the term “release candidate” means in my opinion is not justified. Also what happened today with the RC.6 shows again that I think we are more in a beta since in a RC phase.

I like to test such software and I am aware of the risks, even if the software is no longer alpha or beta, but already an RC. I don’t have to tell you what “release candidate” means, maybe I’m wrong, but at this stage software is mostly finished and bugs like those in RC.1-6 have been fixed in a beta. So there are only “cosmetic” changes to achieve the final release, here to v1.4.0.

What is your opinion about this?


You’re welcome to think of the RC as the beta instead if that makes more sense to you. Clearly the current release has been less than optimal. Usually it’s a bit smoother.

I wouldn’t necessarily be opposed to a beta cycle before RC, we’ve done so for large changes in the past. Drumming up the users for it might be trickier, there is already only a handful on the RC track.