In two days, we release Tidepool alpha 1 to our private group of 84 families. Most on the list aren’t familiar with coding, so likely don’t really know that “alpha” means “early testing version.” Put more clearly, “There Will Be Bugs.”
For more than three weeks since freezing the release, I’ve found and fixed bug after bug after bug. The shakedown period is a mostly miserable time when you repeatedly get down to “zero bugs” only to find new ones a half hour later. The jello is mostly solid now, which means I’m ready to put it out for others to share.
Soon I’ll click “Send” on the email inviting everyone, after which mere minutes will likely pass before someone downloads Tidepool and finds the first problem. Such is my profession, where we cobble things together as best we can, then unleash our imperfections on an unsuspecting public.
Software is hard! Usually there’s so many moving parts that nobody can fully visualize all the interconnections and outcomes. Once a bug is found, it’s usually a quick fix, but with each snag, the user trusts the software a little less. “I don’t have time for this!” and on they go, likely to not come back.
Please be patient. Please be kind. Bugs are a natural part of the process. Please don’t go!