The way I see it, in software you have Alpha, Beta, Release.
Alpha means what Beta used to mean before Google set up new standards. It means the software may break unexpectedly, but it mostly works.
Beta means what Microsoft used to call "V1", and sometimes "V2", and sometimes even "Vista". It's a product that works. Every software product has bugs, even after 10 years in the market. The standard that Google set for all of us is that Beta should work pretty much flawlessly.
Release only has significance in the MS world, and it is the equivalent of most of everyone else's Beta in recent years. It means the software should work flawlessly in its normal course of usage. Some previously unknown bugs may pop here and there in extreme cases.
This blog is not about that. It is about a new phase I just named POJ - the Piece of Junk Stage (I wanted to name it FPOJ but it's hard to pronounce and not very polite).
And why did I think this new term? Because I just tried using Google Wave. It's not Alpha or Beta or Gamma, It's in the POJ phase.
The POJ stage means "I can't use it for what I think the author intended me to use it for". The software can even work pretty well technically, but I just wouldn't be able to become a beta-tester of it, because it's missing important features, or important things break.
In the case of Google wave the first and most annoying problem of it is that I have to keep it open all day (and it's not easy on the RAM, CPU and browser, mind you). I don't get notifications when a wave has changed via email. Neither do any of the people I tried to surf the waves with. This is a killer - I update a wave, then go on to send an email to people telling them to look at the wave. That's when a short cry comes out unintentionally - WHAT A POJ!
Other things that bother me:
Other people can see what I write, and the "draft" box is disabled. Can you tell from this blog I'm a bit impulsive, and sometimes write nasty things? I do that over email too - but before I hit "Send", I hit Ctrl+A, Del, then I write a more polite version of what I wanted to say. It's my therapy and no one gets hurt. If people could read the initial versions of my polite answers to them, I'd be committed in a psychiatric institution. Well, now they can. Not good.
Kudos on the technical implementation, Stephanie (one can only imagine what it takes to perform this technically, assuming the whole world may be using Wave). But what the !@#$ were you thinking?
And why isn't reply working for me? I guess it's just a bug. I can only reply to my own messages - if I try to reply to other people, it comes out as new message. But that's a bug I can live with. There are others, I'll keep them off this blog an in the bug report (where is it, by the way?)
The Call for action:
Google - let's move out of the POJ stage, and into the Alpha stage,