Beta Group Deprecation

What’s happening?

New apps merged into the community repo will now be publicly available via search and will skip the beta phase.


We’ve had a lot of issues with the notion of “beta” for community apps. When we first began accepting community apps, we had a “beta” phase in which apps would be available in our backend but not publicly visible to anyone but us. This was necessary when our tooling wasn’t very good, and we only had a dozen or so apps because broken apps were highly visible. Since then a lot has changed. We have an explore page that’s curated, so new apps are difficult to find unless they’re searched for. In addition, our beta group has grown substantially to the point where it’s not exactly a beta group anymore given it’s a big chunk of our most active users :sweat_smile:.

What about bugs?

Not having a staging environment or private beta certainly means bugs in new apps will be visible to everyone. The issue with our current approach is that the author of the new app often is not a member of our beta group, meaning the app author can’t see their app or address any bugs. We’re taking a bet that skipping the current beta implementation will allow the app author to discover and resolve bugs faster using a “fail fast” mentality given they will have access to their app immediately.

What’s next?

The control of how an app rolls out to production and who can access the app at each stage should be in the hands of the app developer. The Tidbyt team will be working on tooling to support per app beta groups and will re-introduce the concept of beta to our platform once it’s ready.