June 01, 2006

RapidWeaver 3.5: It "Beta" Be Good

Living on the bleeding edge can be fun, so long as you don't mind all the blood.

It's a long-standing tradition to download new software right when it comes out - and version 1.0 can be very exciting, especially if you've anticipated it for some time. But with 1.0 software, it's fairly common to see things crash and burn, or the new features you were expecting to be so "cool" might actually not work after all.

The best example of this was when I moved from Mac OS 9 to Mac OS X Public Beta. I can even tell you the date - March 24, 2001. I was at home, working to launch my new company's Web site, when a knock at the door, on a Saturday, delivered me the very, very beta copy of Mac OS X 10.0. It was all I could do to finish my Web projects before obliterating all my files, and I had to be diligent enough to back things up to an external drive or Zip files... just in case. As it was, I still installed the OS that evening, and was tinkering with its Aquaness, even though I no longer could play DVDs, I didn't have anything that really was a "Finder", and it seemed the most-robust app was the included Chess program. But I did it anyway. In fact, I think I payed $29.95 for the privilege to beta-test Apple's new OS. Five years later, it's pretty clear they had a pretty good thing going, but I've gotten a tad more conservative in my old age, and don't know if I'd do it the same way again.

Speaking of which, the software I use to power this blog, RapidWeaver from Real Mac Software, is turning the big 3.5 tomorrow, up from its current iteration of 3.2.1, which has been in use since we relaunched in January. If you peruse the software developer's forum site, you can see the massive anticipation this release has brought. Everyone wants their grubby hands on it now - so they can mess with new themes, Permalinks and automatic Technorati pings, to name a few things. But the more I read, the more I see how the company is warning people it is "beta" software, and it could go kablooey. I'll definitely be doing a backup of everything from 3.2.1 at the very least before we go crazy. But if you expect me to sit around while everyone else gets to muck around with the new version, you'd be way off. Now I just have to stop visiting the page and refreshing to see if the software's been posted yet!

Listening to ''Spinal Column'', by Stereolab (Play Count: 6)