Secret-HQ

Parallel Beta Versions?

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Posted (edited)

For a while now, Maxthon has been releasing parallel beta versions.  For example, there are currently betas for the 5.3.x release (5.3.8.600) and the 5.2.x release (5.2.7.2300) available in the forum.

Am I correct in thinking this is an indicator of parallel development on the 5.2-series and 5.3-series versions of Maxthon?

What does that mean for bugs fixed and features added in the 5.2.x betas?  Is the same functionality being updated in the 5.3.x betas, as well?  Right now, 5.2.7.2300 is latest beta from either branch to be posted, and its release notes ndicate several changes from the previous 5.2.x version.

For example, "Fixed issue that the translation extension could not work properly on some websites."  Will that issue be fixed in the next 5.3.x beta?

Or, because of different forks in development, is it not currently an issue with the 5.3.x releases?

Does the presence of a fix in 5.2.7.2300 suggest a need to at least note that it's not an issue in the next beta release of a 5.3.x version?

For those of us interested in running the latest beta* but not in running multiple beta versions, which version would we be advised to run?

* with all the caveats about performance that entails (of course)

Edited by Secret-HQ
Improved clarity.
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Thats whats bugging me also. Are the fixes from 5.2.7 implemented in 5.3.8? Or each version has it own bugs? Are we forced to chose version that has less bugs?

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Posted (edited)

Which version to take V.5.2.7.2100 beta and V.5.3.8.500 beta?

I asked same question sometimes back and I received the following answer from rick.lane

<rick.lane:

And a little bit more information: The 5.3.8.x versions are developed using an updated core and still have many items to be worked out. If you desire to test it out, I recommend that you use the portable version. Install versions, regardless of their version number, all use the same data file found at %appdata%\Maxthon 5 so installing a beta will also use that folder for it's data and could possibly add some data that one might not want added there. Each portable version has it's own data file so testing a beta version only affects the User Data folder of that particular portable version. With Maxthon 5 installed versions, one can only have one version installed at a time for this data folder reason, so it is much harder to go back a version if one finds that they have trouble with the installed version but the data folder has been changed to reflect entries made by the last installed version. I use only portable versions now so that I may have multiple versions on my hard drive at the same time and can choose which one I want to use. (I'm also a tester and can use the version of a questioner to attempt to help them out) In that way I can test a beta but be able to easily go back to a version that is more ready for prime time without worrying about the data file. Once you have at least one portable version installed and brought up to date, you simply copy the User Data folder from the last version into the folder for the new version and go from there. Sounds complicated but once you've done it, it's common sense from then on. Hope I didn't confuse you even more.> rick.lane

Please developers listen the remarks of the users. 

Jus

Edited by Jus5631410
mistake
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7 minutes ago, Jus5631410 said:

Please the developers listen the remarks of the users. 

hens will get teeth first and there will be copious amounts of rocking horse dropping

the devs or Jeff for that matter have never listened to the users [that support them] - they have always been convinced they know better than us 

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I think the devs are preparing to launch version 5.3 to replace 5.2. My suggestion is to add that the version 5.3.x are only for "beta testers" when they publish a release so that others users will keep versions 5.2.x stable or betas. Or to create a session dedicated to the beta testers only in their web site. 

Jus

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16 hours ago, Jus5631410 said:

preparing to launch version 5.3 to replace 5.2.

That's always how it is and has been for ages.

You release version 1.0, then work on 1.1. During that time there may be work going on for features in 1.2 or later, which may get released as a beta. It's not hard to decipher.

16 hours ago, Jus5631410 said:

My suggestion is to add that the version 5.3.x are only for "beta testers" when they publish a release so that others users will keep versions 5.2.x stable or betas

That's not a bad idea to have an extra line stating it's a beta, BUT it already says it's a beta in bright red, and in the filename - I'm not sure how many extra times BETA has to be added in the description. Whether it's 5.2.x beta or 5.3.x beta makes no difference. If you don't want to get caught up with the issues a beta version could lead to, then you don't update/download to ANY beta version.

16 hours ago, Jus5631410 said:

Or to create a session dedicated to the beta testers only in their web site

There is except it's for pre-public release. Those that are enrolled in it can access it, but it requires that the MX guys actually utilise it properly. Unfortunately they have their own agenda which makes it effectively useless.

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Thank you 7twenty for your commentary:5884970a7da3a_1:

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Posted (edited)

On 4/15/2019 at 3:33 AM, Jus5631410 said:

I asked same question sometimes back and I received the following answer from rick.lane

Thanks for the link to your original post, @Jus5631410 — and for reposting @rick.lane's reply here.

I missed your original post — mods, if anyone wants to move mine into that thread, please feel free!  :)  — but I've been following Rick's advice about running betas via the Portable version for a while.  I used to keep a couple of versions installed at any given time, but once the appdata that was saved by different versions began diverging, I started running into issues.

Now I test-drive the beta version for a couple of hours from the portable version, then jump the gun and overwrite my "official" install to start using it for my regular browsing.  Sometimes this isn't so smart, as I'll discover quirks or bugs the leave me having to step back and reinstall.  :(  For my part, I'm wiling to take the risks of running a beta version (as long as they're mostly stable, as Maxthon's) are, but I don't have the time to put a beta through its paces in an isolated environment.  I like to integrate it into my workflow (and be prepared to step back if I need to).

On 4/16/2019 at 8:38 PM, 7twenty said:

That's always how it is and has been for ages.

You release version 1.0, then work on 1.1. During that time there may be work going on for features in 1.2 or later, which may get released as a beta. It's not hard to decipher.

That's not a bad idea to have an extra line stating it's a beta, BUT it already says it's a beta in bright red, and in the filename - I'm not sure how many extra times BETA has to be added in the description. Whether it's 5.2.x beta or 5.3.x beta makes no difference. If you don't want to get caught up with the issues a beta version could lead to, then you don't update/download to ANY beta version.

There is except it's for pre-public release. Those that are enrolled in it can access it, but it requires that the MX guys actually utilise it properly. Unfortunately they have their own agenda which makes it effectively useless.

Is the pre-release channel mostly dead these days, @7twenty?  Is that why the 5.3.x betas are out here on the public forum alongside the 5.2.x betas?

My issue isn't labeling the betas as betas.  As you say, Team Maxthon does a pretty good job of that, and users have plenty of info for deciding whether or not they want to try a beta or stick with the official releases.

My concern is there isn't enough context for the slightly unusual practice of having two different beta channels.  Mixing the releases on a single board sorted by release date invites confusion and raises questions there's no place to find answers for.  ("Does Bug X that was fixed in the latest 5.2 beta exist in 5.3?  Was it addressed?  Will it be addressed in the future?")

I'm glad 5.2.7 is being maintained while 5.3.8 is being developed, but some boilerplate about the two beta channels could make matters clearer.  Maybe it's as simple as saying, "Security patches and bugfixes are being made in 5.2.x.  When these apply to 5.3.x, they're being made in parallel there.  New features are being added only to 5.3.x."

Speaking of development (and hopefully not wandering too far off-topic):  Are the 5.3.x versions built on the Chromium engine?  Or is that change still further down the road from what we've seen here on the forum?

Edited by Secret-HQ
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1 hour ago, Secret-HQ said:

Speaking of development (and hopefully not wandering too far off-topic):  Are the 5.3.x versions built on the Chromium engine?  Or is that change still further down the road from what we've seen here on the forum?

Maxthon is built with blink core (chromiun)

The current branch 5.2.7.x has 61.x and the 5.3.8.x has 69.x

 

 

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Posted (edited)

On 4/20/2019 at 5:11 PM, pantantrollo said:

Maxthon is built with blink core (chromiun)

The current branch 5.2.7.x has 61.x and the 5.3.8.x has 69.x

I know Maxthon's been built around the Blink engine for a while, but doesn't Chromium comprise more than just that rendering engine?  I was thinking it comprises code and UI elements as well and that Maxthon's long-term plan is to build a new version around those, doing away with some of the code they've built on their own around Blink (or around Webkit and adapted to Blink when they made that transition).

Edited by Secret-HQ
spelling (wrong word!)
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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, Secret-HQ said:

Is the pre-release channel mostly dead these days, @7twenty?  Is that why the 5.3.x betas are out here on the public forum alongside the 5.2.x betas?

What you are referring to as the "pre-release channel" is formally called the "Early Access Area" and it still exists, and is only accessed by those that have special clearance. Unfortunately, the developers are not using that area as much as they used to and in my opinion that is where the first versions of the 5.3.8.x releases should have been posted so as not to confuse regular but knowledgeable and concerned users, like yourself. Also in my opinion, there have been way too many complaints concerning these versions but the only ones that seem to understand what is going on and how to deal with betas are from long time testers and insiders that know not to install betas such as these onto their computers. Most non-tester users aren't aware that when one installs a new version of the MX5 series that one's previous version is over written or even if one installs it into a new folder, the previous one is deleted, so there is no going back without re-installing the older version, hence my suggestion to use portable versions for testing. 
So, you are correct that the Early Access Area  is most of the time these days mostly dead and it is disappointing that these 5.3.8.x versions were posted on the public forum way before they were ready, without having first been posted on the Early Access Area, and unfortunately many users joined the ranks of those that have left Maxthon behind. 

 

Edited by rick.lane
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Posted (edited)

Thanks for the clarification, @rick.lane.  That's the picture I was starting to get of the Early Access Area, though it's taken me a while to cobble it together from what I've seen on the forum.

I may be giving users a little too much credit in assuming everyone knows the risks and responsibilities of running a beta version.  It might help to have different boards entirely for the latest official release and for the latest beta release.  If betas for the next-generation series are going to be available concurrently with betas of the next release of the current-generation product, I definitely recommend segregating them into a separate area.

I like having the installer versions of betas available because (as I described above) I like to run with the beta in real-world use as much as possible.  But maybe, if betas are going to be publicly accessible, only the portable version shoud be posted.  (If the URLs stay consistent, those of us who really want to install them can figure out where to point Maxthon to download the setup .exe. :D )

Edited by Secret-HQ

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35 minutes ago, Secret-HQ said:

I like having the installer versions of betas available because (as I described above) I like to run with the beta in real-world use as much as possible.  

Maybe you have a wrong impression of just what the portable versions are. They are every bit as "real world" versions as the install versions.  They are all that I use any more and they perform just as the install versions do such that I can not tell the difference while using them. I haven't installed a version for my regular use in over 2 years; I installed one to help a user with a question to see if the installed version acted differently than what I was experiencing with my portable version, but found that that user's problem was not related to which type of version was installed and then I simply deleted the installed version. I also never get warned that my desktop icon is abnormal using the portable version, an added benefit. Please don't let the title "portable" turn you away from using it in "real world use".

 

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Posted (edited)

On 4/20/2019 at 7:29 PM, rick.lane said:

They are every bit as "real world" versions as the install versions.

I only mean that my native workflow is based around the install version.  I considered using the portable exclusively once or twice, but I'm carrying forward some (very) old habits based around syncing my appdata folder and keeping notes related to programs there.  The possibility of updating tweaks to individual files in the appdata folder when I updated versions held me off from it once, but it's been a long time since I've been editing those files by hand.  Nowadays, there's the fact that I have other people using Maxthon under different Windows user accounts in my household and an install version allows me to keep all those users up to date at the same time.

So I say "real world" only to mean the way that fits with the rest of my daily workflow, the way I'm likely to gravitate toward when I'm not in a testing/experimenting mindset.  There are definitely advantages to the portable version.

Edited by Secret-HQ
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10 hours ago, Secret-HQ said:

So I say "real world" only to mean the way that fits with the rest of my daily workflow, the way I'm likely to graviate toward when I'm not in a testing/experimenting mindset.  There are definitely advantages to the portable version.

Fair enough.

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