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i've been thinking recently about beta software.  i've recently been trying to learn why some companies, already heavily invested in .net technologies wouldn't rapidly adopt .net beta 2.  i mean, it isn't drastically different (as was the perception of the .net framework from previous windna platform technologies)...it's still .net -- just a better .net.

in my conversations with individuals and companies alike, mostly the response has been “it's still beta [dude]” (dude added in for the individual response.  okay, yeah, you're right it is.  but what if i told you that ms offers a go-live license (as they have done in the past) so that you can comfortably go-live with the software in a production environment?  would that make you change your mind?  i mean, that's a pretty huge confidence mark to say “go ahead and use our beta in production” don't you think?

think for a minute driving directions.  if you have NEVER BEEN TO A LOCATION before, you're likely going to get some driving directions -- and people usually get them from an online source.  google maps has won out recently as one of the “coolest” map/direction provider.  and i'm sure a ton zilliton of people use it daily for maps/directions.  the next time you do...take a look in the upper left corner...see that -- bingo...that magic word...”beta” right there in front of you.

if you look further at google's site, they indicate that it is still in beta -- and their definition “translation: more improvements to come” is a pretty solid statement about their confidence...akin to saying “go ahead and use our stuff in production.”

so, you'll rely on beta software to get you from point a to point b, provided you've never been to point b, but you wouldn't even CONSIDER using it for your efforts in software development?  to me that's quite ironic (note: i didn't say stupid or dumb or hypocrytical...just ironic).

but tim, google beta works. touche.  ms has a history of beta software being what beta used to really mean (translation: hey man, this stuff is beta, install and cross your fingers).  the builds are slow, functions missing, functions not working, etc.  i mean *real* beta.  but we're getting better.  thus the slip in beta2 for .net -- a release strategy (even for beta) built on quality, not a schedule.  ms is redifining (i'm interpreting here of course, nothing official) their beta software definition...to adapt to a better expectation of what is released into the wild.

so, come on...give a look, find a project to skunkworks, or do a little pet project on building a beta2 environment and running your current apps on it...give our “directions” a chance and use them...you've relied on .net up till now, why not look and see what is better about it?

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using ajax (asynch javascript and xml)? check out: http://www.theserverside.net/news/thread.tss?thread_id=33185

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moving forward with .net v2? make sure you look at the obsolete api list to ensure you aren't using them.

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who said you couldn't build a rest stop with a roll of duct tape, two sticks of gum, a swiss army knife, and a tarp...well okay, how about the duct tape and tarp: http://www.makezine.com/blog/archive/2005/04/duct_tape_stres.html

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interested in some quickstart love? check out: http://beta.asp.net/quickstart/aspnet/Default.aspx

but when is it going to be released tim?  keep watching...soon my friend, soon.