The Software Cycle

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See also: Software | Programming

There is no one true software development model. However, the following describes a typical, average software cycle process.

1. Planning or Algorithm

2. Pre-Alpha - the "Bleeding-Edge", also see Planning.

3. Alpha - major bugs removed, possible redesign, limited deployment.

4. Beta - testing, user, feedback, minor bugs removed.

5. Release Candidate - possible releases that may be posted if no major bugs are found. Features are "frozen"; only bugfixes are allowed. (Alternative: Milestone.)

6. 1.0 - used when a program is ready for usage. (Sometimes also considered a Release.)

Once this cycle is complete, it can begun from the very beginning again if a total redesign is necessary or minor changes can make the program back into Beta. Usually, how far back changes go on the above scale depend on the severity of the changes and the number of bugs that appear as a consequence. Some programs, like Internet Explorer, Mozilla, and GAIM can add plugins that allow functions to run within the main program without changing the core system and not requiring a new release. Plugin-capable programs are described as extensible.

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