User:Nintendo64Fan/Use of "Beta"
This is a little page that examines misuses of the terms "beta" and "prototype" and a few others that were in the Beta Elements pages before I changed them. It explains why it's misuse and the proper ways to use the terms, hopefully becoming a reference for future Beta Elements pages.
What do these terms mean?
- beta version: A development status given to a program or application that contains most of the major features, but is not yet complete. Sometimes these versions are released only to a select group of people, or to the general public. The testers are usually expected to report any bugs they encounter or any changes they'd like to see before the final release. This is the second major stage of development following the alpha version, and comes before the release candidate.
In the gaming world, this means a pre-final build (or builds) of a game that has been released to the public.
A game whose release or development has been delayed indefinitely.
Misuse of these terms
Misuse of beta
This is an incredible common mistake, seen in almost every beta elements page I've seen (including those outside MarioWiki). And it HAS TO STOP. As you can see from the definition above, stuff like "beta this", "beta that", "beta whatever" are completely wrong (heck even the term Beta Elements is kinda wrong, but I think moving the pages is too risky a move). Since we don't know exactly when in development a "beta" element is from, the term "early" is a much better one to use.
Misuse of prototype
It's obvious that most "beta" elements are not from a pre-final build of the game, but has said pre-final build been released to the public? Since the answer is usually no, then a "beta" element is not a prototype element.
Misuse of cancelled
I only saw this a few times, but the fact that it was there in the first place surprised me nonetheless. Simply put, any thing from an earlier build of the game is NOT cancelled. While it may look okay at first, cancelled is a completely bad term to use. Unused content isn't "cancelled", it simply isn't used in the final game but remains in the game's files or whatever anyway. Something from an earlier build of the game isn't cancelled, it simply was removed.
Proper use of these terms
Proper use of beta
Just don't use unless it's from a early build of the game referred to as a beta by the developers.
Proper use of prototype
Don't use unless it's from an actual prototype.
Proper of use of cancelled
Don't use it at all.