Can anyone tell me exactly what does Photoshop CS6 "BETA" mean? and is this a sepearte version from just Photoshop CS6, or is it one and the same? This may seem a very daft thing to ask, but I am very green and new to this at the moment, but hope to learn. Many thanks.
To expand a bit more... It's "geek speak" terminology. Software engineers in a more or less traditional development model do coding, unit testing, integration testing, system testing / alpha testing, then beta testing. The last phase often involves real users/customers.
Further expansion of detail (chalk this up to the "more than you ever wanted to know" category)...
The code within the Photoshop CS6 release was actually created prior to the release of the beta, on March 15, 2012 (and presumably spent 2 months in system testing). Therefore, none of the user-reported bugs gathered during the one and a half month public beta were fixed in the release. I only mention this because it surprises a lot of people - as well it should. We are all anxiously awaiting the 13.0.1 update.
I'm wondering if the team tries to offer as few updates as possible, to avoid bothering the customers with countless .01, .02, .03 versions, but IMHO, a deadline should be set, as waiting longer also annoys (was tempted to use "bugs") users that are hit by an issue that is maybe already cured in part of the code. Most other apps got their first .01 release for quite a while.
Well, we (the user base) certainly wouldn't be tolerant of any new bugs because of overly hasty preparation, so there's no doubt they would want to test the updates very thoroughly, taking months to do so. But I wonder whether Adobe could be using more sophisticated/effective techniques to evaluate changes (e.g. reviews, inspections) to reduce the risk of regression, then the possibility of shortening the testing cycle arises. Perhaps they do all of these things already.
One other thing that's always bothered me... They never seem to rebuild the release package. Thus new users always run the risk of encountering bugs initially released in the product, even though they have been fixed. Seems silly - people might evaluate the software and never choose to buy it because of having run into an old long-dead bug before the product updates itself.