Since our beta release today fixed a lot of minor issues, we decided to wait until January 10th to name our next 'sword' release: Flamberge.
Our standard timeline generally looks like this. All times are in Pacific Standard Time, relative to our office. These times aren't set in stone, by any means, I only write it up here to give everyone some idea of what our typical day looks like for a beta release.
8:30am, we're all in the office, getting coffee or Diet Dr Pepper, and coordinating our morning events, squishing last-minute bugs. We furiously test our code internally on several operating systems and browsers to see if there are any specific layout/render bugs we need to fix. 9:00am, I flip a switch on the database to increment the next beta phase, and migrate new users to our mailing list software. Any users signing up after that will have to wait until the NEXT beta release to get an invite code. 11:30am, lunch time. BLT's all around. 12:30pm, we reconvene to do a final status check on our code, see how everything looks on our test server, and work furiously to fix last-second problems. 1:00pm, I generally start tweeting our status, what we're working on, and issues we see.
Between 1pm and 5:30pm, we get all of our code checked in, deployed to our production servers, start preparing our newsletter and get ready to queue up any invite codes.
The newsletter will explain more about what we've been working on, what's in the new release, that sort of thing, but does NOT include beta invite codes. Invite codes are always sent in a separate Email to users.
Our last beta invite code cut off was about 1pm today, December 28, so any new beta signups after that time should get an invite code on January 10th when we release our next software update.
Larry and I talked briefly yesterday about when we want to just send beta invite codes as soon as you sign up for the beta. No time line for it yet, but at some point, we won't make you wait for a beta code any more. Or we might just take down that spiffy blue "front door" and just let you access the beta site directly if you want.
It's important to note up front that several things will seem "missing" from the site, such as the forums, etc. This is to be expected, because we're rolling out the beta in phases where we add new features every two weeks or so.
Found a bug? Found something you absolutely love-omg-squee-happybacondance? Please post it on GetSatisfaction for us. The rest of the webdev team is deathly allergic to lurking in the forums, but posting a message on GS will send an Email update to everyone, which usually gets priority over other things we're doing.
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