greandreams wrote:But one thing I do not understand is why aren't the betas released to the rest of us to look for bugs? It seems that would help speed up the process. Why are only the RCs released when they're just about finished already? Not that it would really matter to me since I'm not into beta testing, mainly because I don't feel I would be qualified, but I'm still wondering why this is?
It's just the way the development system for Mint works, it's easier to catch the major bugs with thorough test plans and routines than it is to release alpha testing to the public. Especially in the case where the testers know how to report bugs accurately, rather than an obscure description by regular users.
Think of KDE as being in Closed Beta version, where only a small group are selected to test and report bugs.
The when the RC comes out, it'll be open beta when the bugs not caught by the testplan and caught by regular users.
EDIT: for a little bit more detail...
Speaking from a developer's point of view, I'd much quicker find bugs out if that someone knew what he was talking about
or at least has a background with the system that is being worked on.
When talking to someone who doesn't know what they're talking about, it gets confusing especially when there are misinterpretations. (Try ordering a pizza from Pizza Hut when you don't know any of the flavours or choices and all this is done on the phone, not easy)
Every input about bugs is good, but not all development regimes involve early alpha and beta releases