There will no longer be any "beta" releases of the software.
There will no longer be any "final" releases of the software.
There will just be a single "release".
What we have found is that the beta releases weren't really working as "beta" releases. Due to the long interval between final releases, the beta's were just being used as if they were final, and skins were being widely publicly distributed. In fact, it's likely that for a long time, almost nobody who was creating skins was using anything other than the beta versions.
What this meant was that we were in effect locked into "backwards compatibility" with the beta releases as soon as they came out. This was never the intention for the betas, as one of the things they were intended for is to try out some fix or change or improvement, get feedback, and maybe decide to change things, even if it was a change that would "break" any skins created with it.
The end result was that we didn't have a good way to publicly test proposed changes, and also that there was just no reason to bother with doing a "final" release in a timely way. This caused the stupidly long interval between the "final" release of Rainmeter 4.3.1 and now.
So what we want to do is get back to an approach where we can get proposed changes out there, and have people test them out and provide feedback, while not getting trapped into a situation where those changes are being distributed in skins all over the place, and we don't have the appropriate flexibility to react to suggestions and bug reports.
So what now?
Going forward, there will no further "beta" or "final" versions of the software. There will only be "releases", which we will do more often. The goal is to do a release pretty much as soon as we are done with any change, it has been tested by the team and in a new Pre-Release Testing forum we will be setting up, and we are satisfied that it is acceptable to roll out. More on the new Pre-Release Testing forum area soon...
In the very near future, we will take the following steps:
- Do a "release" version of Rainmeter 4.5.0. This will be based on the code from the latest, and last, 4.4.0 beta version.
- Remove any reference to beta versions from the main Rainmeter site, and remove the beta version of the Rainmeter documentation.
- Add the new 4.5.0 release version of Rainmeter to the WinGet repository, and remove the beta version(s)