"reasonable" release schedule
Hi Jerry - My vote for them and a "reasonable release schedule" - don't release buggy stuff to us, "the customer". I wish for only one baby step so that they (and we) do not have to ride the 6-9 month development roller coaster that they (and those foolish enough to follow) are perpetually on.
STOP NAMING IT AFTER THE YEAR and the expecation of yearly release might fade into oblivion!!! Nobody can do good work under constant time duress - nobody! And I bet you the folks who write that code are under duress - it comes thru in in the instability of each release.
Now really - they need to slow this baby down a bit and I do really believe that they have a drop dead release date and it is not likely negotiable, so it seems, that when the date drops, the code is released in spite of any remaining "bugs and inelegancies" that remain. Most of us "old" users (read "burned before") know enough not to jump on the sp.0 upgrade bandwagon. (oops sorry man I think I just started on a mini-tirade without answering the real question).
For beta, I will give them as much time as they will give back to me to help me debug the products that I design using their software. I think that it would not be much to ask for them allocate an engineer for a month or so to help me do some of my work. Haha - help them with beta? I will never give another second to beta testing their software (have in the past and did not get things fixed) - testing their software is _their_ job, not ours. How absurd would it be if someone designed a bridge and asked for beta testers to drive some heavy laden trucks over it to "beta test it for us"? I'm smiling here, but I equate the testing with this sort of mentaility - "you know, we might not have poured the footers too well and we need to see if it bridge can stand up and there also might be a crack in some of the welds and we also did not really look at the forces, so if you are not busy, would you mind giving it a go . . ." The good news in all of this - the bridge was opened on time. Ok the risks are different, but I think of the lazy bridge builder . . .
If our input is so valuable, pay for the time with cold hard cash, just like the rest of the world.
Actually _hire_ the ""top 50" and compensate them for their time - maybe $5k per person ($250k for testing). Then you could really get some output. Ok . . . it's a pipe dream . . . luckily I don't run the world . . .