Archive for April, 2012


Today’s topic will cover “Perpetual Beta“. Perpetual Beta, commonly speaking, is a piece of software that is in constant development – although complete features and lack of bugs may be found, new features and consolidated scripts are continually being added. In fact, some people believe that agile software development (a commonly used practice that development teams utilize) promotes perpetual beta as “new features are slipped in every iteration“. Perpetual beta just happens to be one of Tim O’Rielly’s core patterns to Web 2.0 applications. Because it relies on a sort of symbiotic relationship between user and developer, I would say that this pattern has an element  of Harnessing Collective Experience, combined with Rich User Experience and a dash of Innovation in Assembly.

For the sake for my topic today, I am going to talk about a well-known software platform that almost all of us are using, FacebookFacebook, a well known and popular website,  in fact utilizes perpetual beta. If you use Facebook, you will notice how you are never prompted to update the software, and yet new features are constantly being added. Only recently Facebook updated the image view section of their website to Ajax. Then there is Facebook’s many and varied attempts to change its look and feel. Some of these have been brought about by responses from the user. One notable and recent example was all those changes to the privacy settings. I believe this is a fine example of how perpetual beta works, because for a large part the changes were user driven. Few months ago Facebook has released a new feature which is Timeline which will lead the user to provide information about their past before even Facebook existed.

Some of us more veteran Facebook users may remember those nasty bugs such as the; multi-status, the chat session that crashed the system, and the missing status updates. I’m sure there are more. I am constantly getting status updates from one friend or another whining how their favourite game or application is not working.  For the most part theses thing do get fixed, usually after someone (or one thousand) has complained to Facebook Help.

Facebook is continuing to  release new versions, revisions or updates of their products based on users’ feedback which gives the developers the chance to see the user experience to improve the application easily. Here is the question to answer, Do you think Facebook needs improvements or releases new services? If not do you think Facebook should not be a beta anymore?

Reference

Facebook Privacy (2012) http://www.facebook.com/privacy/explanation.php

O’Reilly T (2005) What is Web 2.0: Design patterns and Business model for next Generation of Software

Wikipedia (2012) Perpetual Beta

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These days, smartphones such as iPhone are being used massively among us, which lead the consumers wanting to access or use these mobile devices for almost everything that they can use in normal PC.  Such services can be provided to users via “Software above the level of a single device”, which a web 2.0 pattern. Tim O’reilly defines this pattern as ” every web application is software above the level of a single device.”

For today’s topic, I will use WordPress App for IOS as an example. WordPress for IOS allows the users to do almost everything to their blogs in the move and the app supports the following features:

  • Effortless Comments.
Moderate, edit, or reply to comments — This feature makes it easier to stay in touch with your readers. For popular posts, you can quickly bulk moderate comments through the intuitive interface. When using this feature wish is provided in this App, the user will have the same experience as using a normal PC or laptop to do the commenting activities including editing, replying and approving comments.
  • Elegant Composing
Creating and editing posts is at the heart of the WordPress experience. Write, add photos, check your spelling, and even create links without having to write a single line of code or HTML. When you’re writing and you’d like a bit more room, just rotate the screen. WordPress will automatically adjust to a more comfortable widescreen layout.
  • Gorgeous Photos
Add as many photos as you like — WordPress will automatically insert them into your post. Both high resolution and web optimised photos look and work great. This feature uses ” Rich User Experience patterns” as it provides a platform as the users can upload as many photo as they want into their blog. In other words, this feature provides the same experience as if the users are using a PC or laptop.
  • Location Mapping
On the iPhone, sharing your location when you post to your WordPress blog is a cinch. Just tap the Geotag icon on the Write screen, and watch as WordPress locates you on the map. It’s a great way to share where you were when you posted to your blog. This feature uses “Harnessing Collective Intelligence” as it uses the data of location of the users.
In this App the user can do more than approving or posting a new topic, the users can even view the stat of their blog to check how many visits they have. It just amazing how web 2.0 technologies allow us to do many things such as commenting on post as we in the move and providing the same experience as using our laptop or PC.
Reference
WordPress. (2011). WordPress for IOS