Putting the B back in “Beta”

From the looks of comments on VersionTracker and elsewhere on the Web, prosthesis some users are experiencing some pretty significant problems with the latest Flash Player 9 beta, version 9.0.60.184 (Really? We’re using all FOUR sets of digits in publicly available version numbers?)

Granted, this is still a Beta test version, but when it shows up on common download sites — especially without the big word “BETA” after the version number — people tend to download first and ask questions later (in this case, a lot of questions). And when it “crashes the internet,” they tend to remember the product (“Flash”) rather than the version number.

So while I’m excited about the new video capabilities of the latest Flash player, I also hope we’ll all remember to warn our clients that indeed, it IS still a beta version, and yes, their mileage may vary. (And for the overzealous and underwhelmed, an uninstaller is also available here.)

And, ahem, perhaps Adobe might want to add the word “beta” to the evergrowing version number as well (and mention it on the installation splash screen, perhaps)? Apparently, there is a “ub” in the filename itself, but… as someone just asked me earlier tonight, “How was I supposed to get ‘beta’ out of that?!”

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2 thoughts on “Putting the B back in “Beta””

  1. Thanks for the catch. Did VersionTracker tell its audience to use the uninstaller first? That’s the info on the Labs site. I’ve seen some direct linking at places like Digg too. Like the Adobe page says, it’s for developer testing.

    Not using the uninstaller would likely produce the bulk of the installation errors.

    (I saw the SWFAddress post earlier today, but the written post made it difficult to functionally summarize the issue for others. There’s the feedback form on Labs.)

    jd/adobe

  2. Hey John,

    I didn’t see anything on the VersionTracker site that explicitly mentioned uninstalling (except for a recent comment, in which someone pointed out the link to Adobe’s site.) Except for the word “beta” next to the “license type,” it’s pretty hard to recognize it as a development version (at least on that site).

    As a recent convert back to the Mac world, I tend to patrol VersionTracker pretty regularly, and although I’ve read plenty about the new beta in the past couple days, even I had a brief moment of thinking “It’s out already?” before I noticed the comments.

    (And by the way, the new video stuff looks great!)

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