After numerous alpha versions we have been in beta testing for a long time, more precisely since March 2022. Now we have already released the eighth beta version of DMXControl 3.3 to our beta tester team in the past days. And this version now provides more of the features (again), which was on the roadmap. No, here we don't talk about the timecode player.
The timecode player is already integrated since several beta versions. With beta 7, it received several important additions. In the team, we used the previous versions to primarily check individual parts of the timecode player. In the process, we discovered various errors, but were also able to identify individual points where the workflow could be further optimized. One of the initial problems was that some of the elements required for a timecode show were not loaded correctly. The most prominent example concerned the audio files. Test shows that had already been created were even lost in certain constellations. Such a problem can occur in a beta version - exactly for such cases the beta test is there.
With Beta 7, these and other issues have been resolved to such an extent that we could now start the hot phase of testing: programming a timecode show. Through such a test scenario with a real target, possible problems can be brought to light from now on, which stem solely from the systematic work with a concrete target. Although individual actions work on their own, they do not work in the overall context. The same was already true for the software, that some problems only came up through a real reference, while under laboratory conditions everything still fit.
The point, which could be essentially locked with the beta 8, is the rebuilding of the presets - whereby with locked at this point is meant that the beta tester team received now an appropriate work basis, in order to take up this part of DMXControl 3 for the first time within the test. To the now upcoming tests belongs beside the creation and change of presets in a (new) project in DMXControl 3.3 also the examination whether there are problems with the loading of old projects from DMXControl 3.2.3. And not to forget the question: Are there new problems with other program parts now that the new presets are available. The last fine tuning follows by the way for the presets now, as also with the time code player, over the coming beta versions, after all have worked a little bit with it.
However, during the ongoing tests there are also problems that are comparatively new and have crept in only in the latest beta versions. One example is related to the logging system in DMXC3. This overflowed during several tests and generated log files with several 100 MB. With simple text files these are however once some 100,000 lines with entries. Corresponding corrections have now also been included in Beta 8. Now it remains to hope that the problem is now solved.
With these remarks the thought should probably not arise so fast with you, "great, DMXControl 3.3 now soon finished". Correct, we are still not so far. Several points are still missing and have to be completed until a release - which are those, we will reveal in due time, for example in the context of another live stream about new features for and in DMXControl 3. But also independent of the completion of the last missing points on the roadmap, there are still some things to do until a release. On the one hand, it is still necessary to fix the numerous problems that are already listed in our bug tracker. Of course, many of them have been noticed during the alpha and beta test of DMXControl 3.3 and are in the context of the rebuilding of the network structure. There are of course also changes or compared to DMXControl 3.2.3 that need to be tested as well.
However, we are hopeful that we will be able to finish this year - at least, if we don't have to deal with any more short-term issues in the inventory that, for whatever reason, fall through the cracks just as we are starting to fix them. In order to keep this hope alive, we set up an extra internal piece of work for this purpose a few weeks ago. This allows us to make more regular progress on the development, whereas before there were sometimes no changes to the code for several weeks for various reasons.
The fact that the entire alpha and beta test to DMXControl 3.3 turns out to be one of the most extensive can also be determined objectively by several numbers. Up to the publication of this news already 484 tickets were written in the bug tracker, which concern alone the alpha and / or beta version of DMXControl 3.3. 376 tickets report smaller and larger errors, which occurred during the testing. The alpha and beta test for all versions of DMXControl 3.2.0 is with 494 tickets currently still slightly above, but the end of the line is not yet reached with the 3.3. This can be seen by the fact that from the alpha and beta test of DMXC 3.2 "only" 15 tickets classified as error or to-do remained open. For DMXC 3.3 there are currently still just over open 100 tickets that describe a bug. Here, individual points are already assigned to a later version because they can only be fixed in the context of other points or because they only describe simple cosmetic errors that do not affect the workflow in any way. How many tickets will be left in the end will only be known shortly before the release. You can see these numbers in other constellations in our bugtracker. Internally they are the following: Before the release of DMXControl 3.2.0 there were three completely internal alpha versions, six beta versions and eight release candidates. With DMXControl 3.3.0 our beta testers already tested nine alpha versions and have now already received the eighth beta version. However, we cannot yet estimate how many will follow here.
All in all, both our developers and our beta tester team still have a lot to do. Accordingly, there will be further updates until the release - not only in the form of news, but precisely via livestreams. So, stay tuned for further developments.