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Thread: Beta Testing

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    Forum Deity SEANT's Avatar
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    Default Beta Testing

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    What level of interest would there be in setting up a dedicated “Beta Testing” area here at CadTutor?

    Several CadTutor members have developed AutoCAD add-ons for public distribution, hosted here and/or at sites such as Autodesk Exchange. The early life cycle of such apps would benefits from testing by users, both experienced and novice. (Developers are notoriously bad at testing their own software. )

    There would be several issues with which to contend, many of them similar to issues discussed in this thread as related to the Application Archives sub forum. (Incidentally, I think the officially sanctioned Autodesk Exchange site has cost the Application Archives forum some traffic.)

    One of the critical issues raised in that previous discussion revolved around the access/requirement of source code – as opposed encrypted/compiled. I suspect that having access to the source code would be fairly rare. Much of the beta testing, as I envision the process, would be for paid apps. Conceivably those developers would prefer the code remain proprietary. As a matter of fact, some of the testing may relate directly to the licensing routine/algorithms.

    What new issues would this raise? Compensation for tester may be a common concern, though, I suppose that could be set by the developer. What do we think?

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    What might be the impact on CadTutor?

    With regard to the viability of this site:

    It could be done at Autodesk.Discussions, but there may be other liability implications given the connection to the mother ship. I suspect that Autodesk would prefer to just deal with Apps very close to publication; only providing the Bundling/Installation packaging services in preparation for their hosting the app at the Exchange.

    Theswamp.org has the beta testing culture built right in, but the developer/developer interaction avoids many of the pitfalls (i.e., important feedback) that developer/user would encounter.

    CadTutor encompasses the full spectrum of AutoCAD expertise. Great for providing feedback to a developer. It may also encourage 'less than expert' AutoCAD user to participate in beta testing knowing that they could get UI help even if the developer is off-line.

    As previously discussed here, a blanket disclaimer would need to be instituted to isolate CadTutor from any Developer/Tester disputes.
    That notwithstanding, compensation to CadTutor is certainly not out of the question.

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    Forum Deity SEANT's Avatar
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    Definitely not a lot of interest.

    Am I missing other venues for beta testers? Do you (developer members) have other methods and/or user groups that assist in early project development? Care to share?

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    I would not mind testing some add-ons and such for others as I do not develop myself.
    Please do not PM me with CAD questions. Post your question on the forum. Our users are the best out there and you'll get the best possible answer to your question.

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    I'm just passing through to say that this is a very interesting topic, Sean; as soon as I get a major submittal done, I'll have time to share some thoughts, and personal experiences on this.

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    Cool. I have some stuff working, the most immediate being a 2015 version of the Text To Geometry routine. I had to fix a couple of issues, and I'd like to make sure there are no others before re-submittal. I'll post the bundle package later today.

    There is also an 'Unroll Developable Surface' routine in development. I'd need a lot of feedback on that, given that I hope to eventually post it as a paid app. We'll see.

    I still think CadTutor would make an excellent beta testing portal for Exchange apps. Maybe this is a start.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SEANT View Post
    Definitely not a lot of interest.

    Am I missing other venues for beta testers? Do you (developer members) have other methods and/or user groups that assist in early project development? Care to share?


    I think you will find plenty of testers but your posts seemed to be directed towards CADTutor and the logistics of using it a resource for this type of thing.


    Personally, I would love to test things but do not want to commit to anything as the timing and the type of testing is going to affect my availability and/or ability to test.
    Drafting is a breeze.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RobDraw View Post
    I think you will find plenty of testers but your posts seemed to be directed towards CADTutor and the logistics of using it a resource for this type of thing.


    Personally, I would love to test things but do not want to commit to anything as the timing and the type of testing is going to affect my availability and/or ability to test.
    Despite my post #6, the purpose of this thread is really about the viability of having a central location where developers could interact with a large body of users who have already demonstrated a willingness to seek/provide feedback. (Any beta postings I make will not be in the Feedback forum)

    I think the goodwill already established by the CadTutor site would be comforting to all parties – if, indeed, DW is interested.

    I am often out of contact for long periods; it would be nice to know that a troubled beta user could get prompt support from the CadTutor community at large.

    I’m not exactly sure how a Beta Testing sub forum would be setup. I could see some developers/developmental efforts requiring only a few testers – perhaps needing some way to choose/limit the participation. Other programmers may beta test licensing schemes – necessitating the transfer of personal/financial information; others may be to test non-traditional ways of monetizing software.

    It a brave new world, but a little scary at the same time. A forum that documents this part of the Autodesk Exchange developmental process could be a valuable resource.

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    I think it would be far simpler than you're anticipating, and no additional dedication of resources, etc. will be needed from this forum.

    Just post your work as a 'show your stuff'-like thread, in the LISP or VBA/.NET forum (unless there's a more applicable forum that I am unaware of?), and politely ask others to offer feedback... Several members have done this here and elsewhere when they come up with something new, or a new version of an older routine, etc.

    You're not really asking for anything different here, and methinks it unlikely that you're going to be able to pick and choose participants from an all volunteer membership.

    ... My $0.01 (I'm still busy... Err... Overwhelmed with work, and needed +/- 2 minutes away from this never ending project!).



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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackBox View Post

    . . . . Just post your work as a 'show your stuff'-like thread, in the LISP or VBA/.NET forum (unless there's a more applicable forum that I am unaware of?) . . . .
    I suppose that alone would be a good start. Something that was not so language based.


    The issue that set me off was licensing. A developer may have a routine that they prefer remain proprietary. An open invitation to software that had a faulty licensing scheme could be a disaster. Limiting access would mitigate the risk.

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