12.1 - Beta re-labelling of 12.1 M6 to Encourage More Pre-release Testing

According to http://en.opensuse.org/openSUSE:Roadmap Thu, Sep 22 2011, openSUSE 12.1 Milestone 6 will become 12.1 “Beta” Release.

From Larry Finger
subject [opensuse-project] Request to change MS6 to Beta

This is a request for changing the name of the MS6 release to Beta.

The Testing Core Team (TCT) discussed the general problem of testing of new releases. With openQA, the probability that Factory iso’s will boot and install is greatly increased; however, with the current system, many users do not start testing until RC1 is ready. As a result, there is very little time for detecting and fixing the bugs that will only be seen with a workload that is diverse. Such early testing will be particularly important for 12.1. Not only have we regularized the release schedule and naming scheme and need to follow through with a high-quality product, but we are behind due to the early build problems.

The TCT considered several possible changes to entice earlier and broader testing. The schedule does not have much flexibility to increase the time between the RC1 and GM releases, thus we probably need to indulge in some ‘social engineering’ to get earlier testing. We could change from 6 Milestone and 2 RC releases to 5 and 3, respectively, without tampering with the total time. Alternatively, we could rename from MS6 to Beta. The TCT favors the latter option. It might mislead the users/testers a little regarding the quality of the offering, but we don’t think calling MS6 “Beta” is misleading. By most definitions, Beta means feature-complete and free of huge bugs - we should be able to get that with MS6.

A beta release should attract more users. In addition, many of us start full-time usage with MS5 or MS6, thus we know it to be usable for many people.
Thanks for considering this proposal to further enhance the user experience and the quality of the final 12.1 release.

This proposal is supported (in no particular order) by Larry Finger, Bernhard M. Wiedemann, Refilwe Seete, Holger Sickenberg, Jürgen Radzuweit, Bruno Friedmann, Ismail Doenmez, and Peter Czanik.

Are we up for that? Or is it going to be one of those “It seemed like a great idea at the time?” things, we’ll rue…
The project list featured huge amount of end user reaction to 11.1 GM which really was released with major flaws, so it’s good to see the project is trying to increase quality and stability, even on “immature” GM releases, where a suspicion was for instance that things got crammed into 11.1 in order as test bed for SLED 11, before they were really production ready.