Beta Testing Basics
To support ongoing development of Pikker with good product
testing, we're looking for a few dedicated individuals to do some rigorous
testing. Beta testing participation is available only to registered users,
and those who actively participate in the testing process. The Beta
version download is available to everyone. However, the program has the
same 30-day trial period that the release version has.
Beta Means Incomplete
The Beta version that is available on this page may be in
various stages of development, so there are going to be some un-implemented
features that are still scheduled to be included in the final release
version. There may also be some unresolved bugs, or new bugs introduced in
Beta versions. At various stages during the development phase, a new
install file will be posted on this page.
Two Week Trial Period
Once the minor version is "complete", then a two-week
trial period begins. During the trial period, a series of sample systems
and test cases are run to either verify results with previous versions, or to
verify that results a are changed as expected. Anyone on the Beta Test
team can run any of the sample systems or test cases and report results, or any
other anomalous behavior. If there are any Priority 1 (must fix
immediately) or Priority 2 (should fix as soon as possible) bug reports during
the trial period, then the trial period is cancelled and the software goes back
into development to fix the bugs.
Getting Placed on the Beta Team
There are three ways to get on the Beta Testers Team.
Any registered user (i.e. users who have paid for
registration) can send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Un-registered users (i.e. users in their initial 30-day free
trial period) can submit the Beta Questionnaire.
After some testing results are received, then a no-cost registration code
will be sent to the user. This is how you get free registration!
Forum members can go to the Forums, on the Usergroups
panel from the top of the forums page, and request membership in the Beta
group. You must have a forum membership, and be logged in to do
this. After your information is verified, then membership in the
Beta Team will be granted.
Beta Team Participation
While there are no hard requirements for participation in the
Beta Test Team, there is some structure and guidelines. The core of the
testing process is to run the available sample systems and test cases, and
compare results with the previous release version. The Samples are the
sample systems that are packaged with the program. The Test Case systems
refer to test systems that have been reported to demonstrate a particular bug in
the program, which has subsequently been fixed. Each test case will have a
unique number associated with the original support incident number. A
separate download file will be available with further information about the test
cases. The results of those tests will be posted in a table on the
website. To make the testing process easier, it is recommended that a
separate installation (to a separate location) be maintained for the Beta
Version, and for the previous Release version.
Because of the nature of beta testing, we cannot always devise a
ready-made test plan. A good beta tester will actually try to break the
software by trying different combinations that might not have been considered
before. Beta Team members can use any number of personal systems that they
may be tracking, trading, or experimenting with to compare results.
If there is a bug to report, then you can submit the details
either to email@example.com
or to firstname.lastname@example.org, and an
incident ID will be assigned. If the bug is verified, a new test case will
be assigned for the incident ID, and a separate bug ID will be entered.
There is a Beta Testers forum that is available for Beta Testers only.
Participation in the Beta Forum is not required, but strongly encouraged.
Announcements will be posted whenever a new beta version is ready for
download. When a beta version is ready for the two-week trial period, an
email will be sent to all Beta Forum group members. After the two-week
trial is successfully passed, then the current version will be posted to the
Release version downloads, and a new development cycle will begin.