<syd> beta - bugs exist try again.

<stolen from the jargon file>

  1. Mostly working, but still under test; usually used with `in': `in beta'. In the RealWorld, systems (hardware or software) software often go through two stages of release testing: Alpha (in-house) and Beta (out-house?). Beta releases are generally made to a small number of lucky (or unlucky), trusted customers.
  2. Anything that is new and experimental. "His girlfriend is in beta" means that he is still testing for compatibility and reserving judgment.
  3. Flaky; dubious; suspect (since beta software is notoriously buggy).

Betas are usually released in the OpenSource and FreeSoftware world; for commercial betas, check