Pd' Programming is constantly developing Crash Magic. At any given time, the latest version is being developed on several computers in our office. However you wouldn't want to install those versions on your computers - they haven't been thoroughly tested.
Therefore, every three weeks we perform a full build of the system and determine tasks to accomplish over the next three weeks. Any of these three week "sprints" may be designated an "alpha" version. This will depend on the completeness of the features implemented and the level of stability the program exhibits.
If an alpha version contains specific desired new features, and if it is a robust build, it will undergo inhouse testing and be released as a "beta" version. As a beta version, a select few of our customers are granted access to download and install the program for additional testing. Beta's may be released as frequently as in a 3 week cycle, or as infrequently as several months for a cycle.
Official release builds:
An official release of the software will occur aprox. every 6 months. These releases are the culmination of testing as an alpha version and limited distribution as a beta version. While beta versions may require special treatment during installation and/or use, a release version can be expected to perform any needed updates or include instructions for such updates.
Throughout the development cycle, whenever bugs are found, fixes for these bugs are made in all prior release versions. For example, if we are working on version 2.12.0 and a bug is identified that affects performance or data accuracy, the prior released versions (2.7 and 2.11) will be fixed and upgrades will be posted. This means that 2.7 and 2.11 will continue to grow more stable with no new features, only important bug fixes.
If you want to have the most stable version of our software, always make sure that you have a official release version. The most current release version is always available on our web site, on the downloads page.
If you'd like to be a beta tester, get in touch with us and we'll see if your situation makes you a good candidate. An important thing to remember as a beta tester is to make sure that you maintain good backups of your system and that you are prepared to update your software as needed when newer versions become available.