This proposal is pretty self explanatory, I’ve made it a few times before, I think it doesn’t require too much work compared to a lot of other things.
The baseline thinking has been outlined by @boopboop
Right now, I find that a lot of people feel unclear that Resonate is at the stage of Beta testing, and I don’t blame them because it’s basically down to us explaning it to them, and there’s no other clear marker that Resonate is not a fully functional platform. We need this to appear proeminently right on the front page of the site so that people know they’re helping us build (even just by using it) and are not just passsively enjoying a fully featured service.
I’ve heard recent reservations about using the term beta since it has standardized meaning in development versioning. @piper and @auggod could say more on that theme as it came up on Github. Before using this, we should have a clear sense of what it would mean for us to leave beta. What does that mean to us; what does that mean to developers?
I strongly agree that we need ways to more clearly communicate, internally and externally, that Resonate is a collaborative, ongoing project rather than a finished product. Hence why I recently updated our social media descriptions to say “We are building a music streaming co-operative”.
I think this is core to our identity as a co-op as well – that we are building this together in iteration and experimentation. We want folks to build with us, so we need to make it clear they can get involved. In some ways, that message is more encompassing than whether or not we are “in beta”, as even after leaving beta, our process and mission to be an adaptive, member-led co-operative would not change.
Another consideration here, is that putting “beta” or construction signs on everything at Resonate may steer some folks away from building with us when we most need them. They may conclude "Oh I’ll just come back when they (whoever they is) finish Resonate. A misunderstanding worth avoiding if we can.
It’s a bit sad but in my opinion better than a misguided notion that Resonate is fully operational.
If Beta is an issue, how about “Early Access”?
A few things that mean “out of beta” to me :
Donwload feature with lossless or mp3 formats choice
a finished backend infrastructure that can handle all metadatas
self uploading tool with working ID compliance tool, to avoid Resonate becoming pirate music land and being legally ok with PROs.
possibility for musicians to see their datas
fullfill expectations from big distributors.
incidentally the previous point would mean a much bigger catalogue
These means out of Beta to me, as long as we don’t have that I’d feel not showcasing we’re in beta is dishonest and not a good look and can (and does!) make a lot of people frustrated and wary, which I feel is worse than not having them around at all.
If Beta has legal implications, let’s see what they are, I’d be more than happy to check them out so no one else has to and make sure it’s working with where we are.
Edit : one last thing. “Beta” does NOT imply there’ll be no work done on the platform once it’s at 1.0, it’ll just mean we’ll be at 1.0 and then probably working to get to 2.0
I really think just “Beta” under Resonate on the header is way enough, I see litterally no other need that would be sufficient.
In my experience, “Beta” is one of those terms that “everyone knows”, but don’t always have the same definition in practice.
For some people, “Beta” implies your software is “feature complete” but needs testing by a broader audience before it’s declared “officially released”. Then there’s Google, who labeled all their products as “Beta” until they were discontinued.
If we want to reinforce the message that we want people to participate in the building of Resonate (not just testing a nearly complete product), perhaps “Alpha” would be a better fit?
Yeah this is kind of an issue in having two conversations on two different places, thanks @piper for sharing the link. I think it would be best for transparency if the conversation happened here on the forum?
We used the subdomain beta (beta.resonate.is) for a while and I feel like we really don’t want this anymore.
First : the proposition here is to integrate “beta” in small letters under the Resonate logo, not in the URL which I think should be definitive. The only need for a beta url would be if we were to run two versions of the platform side by side like we used to.
Right now this is more of an open beta (or an Early Access) and there’s no other “official” version. The question might need to be asked again if we do a complete overhaul someday for a Resonate 2.0 but until then there’s no need.
Second : you mention “we really don’t want this anymore”. Who is we? I dont feel like there’s been much of a collective decision on the matter, and the general feeling I get from the forum is that we need more pointers informing people that Resonate is not a finished product because it still lacks critical features either for on-boarding artists (the upload tool, metadata handling) or listeners (download capacities).
not really sure where to hit reply here, but perhaps it helps to name some tensions
early adopters vs non-early adopters
people who believe software is never “finished” and those that do
artist vs listener
Perhaps instead of “beta” we could have a “why doesn’t X exist yet?” link by the logo, and it takes the user to a roadmap image that addresses priorities, and to at that time invite the reader to help chip away at a small small roadmap item?
Couldn’t “early access” do exactly this? like a clickable early access button next to the logo that redirects to the road map rather than “why doesn’t x exist yet”
It doesn’t even have to be big and in bold letters or whatever, just an indicator in simple terms.
I feel like again, if we’re afraid of “how people might interpret it” it’s kind of a bad look, our platform is not finished in terms of features it’s not an “opinion” it’s a fact and we should be open and transparent about it.
I personally don’t think a software is ever really finished, would it just be because you can still find bugs and exploits decades after the fact, and also because since tech is evolving constantly, they tend to force software updates anyway to match new usage and the new technologies supporting them.
But this being said, there is a set of features we want to garantee, and some legal fundamentals we need to make sure of, before we can call ourselves “Stream 2 Own” or “A Streaming Platform” in its own right, or a lot of other things. So to me it’s not about “the software being finished” rather than the baseline feature set we want to actually provide being available.
As for “artists vs listeners” right now the platform isn’t offering the baseline features for both.
Besides “fear that users might go away when they see Early Access” what’s the argument against doing that precisely? I’m still unclear why it’s a problem when we are clearly still in beta.
To me, “early access” communicates exclusivity or a small-scale allowance of users (who can use it?) rather than speaking the maturity of the platform itself (is it done?).
Since we used the “beta” terminology before then took it away, and given the wide range of interpretation for words like “alpha” and “beta” (you need to see/know the feature roadmap before you can reasonably interpret those terms), I suggest we look for more general terminology to communicate the platform and its offerings are a “work in progress”.
I think the ideas @boopboop and @LLK suggest are moving in the right direction, by having something by the logo which links to a roadmap image or page. Ultimately, that roadmap is what will communicate the status/maturity of the platform and features to the user way more than a single word could.
Maybe that “something” could just be a tagline, like “Build with us”? Or if the roadmap has clearly-named “stages” or “steps”, we could use the name of the current stage, like “We are currently in ‘Growing’ stage. Go here to learn more, and how you can help.”
I’m at a point were frankly I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feeling, I feel more like a nuisance to the dev team than helping out so I’ll step aside on the matter. I can’t say that to me such a transparency measure isn’t an absolute necessity because I trully believe it is but I’ll leave it at that and it’s ok. I thought this was a rather well accepted idea and one of the easiest addition to implement but it doesn’t seem like it.
So I’ll just let the people who feel strongly about the wordings decide whatever they want and what they think is both “inviting” and transparent that the platform isn’t ready yet.
For me Beta is fine, Early Access is fine, Roadmap is kinda misleading (you could have a roadmap after you finished a 1.0) but it’s also fine and better than nothing.
Anything’s fine as long as we’re clear with newcomers that this is not a finished product, because it’s in our manifesto and in most of our communication that we should be transparent about these things.
@Sam_Martyn is there a way to link just to the checklist:
The Resonate Renewal
New streaming player: make and share playlists, improved search, and more…
Single login across resonate; uniting website, player, and forum
Artist upload tool: artists will be able to self-upload their work to the Resonate platform
Redesigned community forum, now available to everyone
Accounting and payments for artists and the co-op
New main website
Development of the Resonate forum as a democratic work and governance center
Bulk upload tool: allows music labels to upload their entire catalogs in one easy and efficient process.