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What is the difference between a pre-alpha release, an alpha release, a beta release, and a public release, from the perspective of a 20 year old college co-ed who is looking at an IM window saying "Hey, Facebook doesn't respect our privacy. Come sign up for Diaspora (linky), it is like Facebook except they won't send your photos to your mom."

Indeed, maybe, just maybe, a 1000 freshmen will install it on their machines tonight, it will wipe those thousand laptops tomorrow and destroy a thousand career the day after, in a similar fashion to how a 1000 freshmen destroyed their careers by dropping acid on Tim leary's suggestion in 1969.

Let's think about what Richard Feynman meant when he said "what do you care what other people think?"

It's been released as pre-alpha. That's responsible. If it has a greater magnetic attraction to naive early adopters than other software, whose problem is it? Ours or the Darwin Awards?

If one doesn't care about the PR backlash from a thousand people losing their data, why care about the people pointing out the flaws beforehand?

Sure, the names don't mean anything. Gmail was in beta with millions of users for years.

However, the Diaspora github readme says this in bold: "PLEASE, DO NOT RUN IN PRODUCTION. IT IS FUN TO GET RUNNING, BUT EXPECT THINGS TO BE BROKEN"

So, shame on the register for calling this news.

Yes, as of 35 minutes ago, it says that. But before that, it didn't, and tons of people are throwing this up on ec2, heroku, and everything else: http://github.com/diaspora/diaspora/commit/e668071ea51050ae7...

good point. I didn't see that.

Yesterday, Ars ran a front page story titled: "Open source Facebook replacement Diaspora drops first alpha"

So I'm not surprised users ran out to try it.

You're trying to say that early adopters don't know the difference between an alpha/beta release and a production release? Don't buy that.

Then you're obviously not subscribed to diaspora-discuss or diaspora-dev.

Interesting. So people who have gone through the trouble of subscribing to the development mailing list don't know that this code is nowhere near production release? That's.... odd.

Yes and no. It got a lot of press outside of regular tech circles, and it's also attracting a lot of people who don't even know Ruby. Earlier today I fixed someone's bug report by showing them which half of "<<<" "===" ">>>" to remove from their Rakefile because of a bad merge. Many of the people who've subscribed to the list are incredibly inexperienced.

Heh, then maybe I'm not missing much. I subscribed, noticed it was filling my inbox (and thus making my phone beep), created a gmail filter for it, and promptly forgot I subscribed. 24 hours later, reading your comment makes me not want to really open up that label.

We all started somewhere and were inexperienced, but there was a time, before Google Groups, where the ability to signup to a mailing list was a small hurdle that helped weed out some of the mailing list distraction. September never ends.

And please, don't get me wrong. I love noobs. But nobody's reading the README. Nobody's reading previously filed bugs. Nobody's reading other threads on the ML. It's really, really bad.

I think part of it's that the README is SO long. They should really move the installation documentation into a different github page or something.

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