This article will focus on explaining the differences between the various releases of phpFox.
phpFox releases new versions of its software on a regular basis. These versions are in various stages of development: Beta, RC, and Stable.
Beta Releases are meant not meant for live and active websites. Beta versions are not supported by the phpFox support team. They should never be loaded onto a live and active website, and only should be loaded onto a development site. They contain early implementations of features that will be finalized for the stable version. Beta versions of phpFox will likely not work with any addons or any themes that are not part of the default phpFox script. They will likely contain many bugs and issues that over the course of the development cycle will be fixed and corrected. Betas are released so that we can help the developers identify any issues that may have been introduced while new features and/or optimizations/maintenance settings have been developed and added to the default phpFox script.
phpFox will usually release 2 Beta versions during the development cycle.
It is important to remember that a Beta version is NEVER meant to be used for a live website. Beta versions are best installed fresh as a new installation or as an upgrade to a fully default installation of phpFox in a development environment.
RC – Release Candidate
Release Candidates, otherwise known as RC versions are released after the Beta has gone through at least 2 revisions. They are not considered stable releases, however they are supported by the phpFox support team. They will typically contain fixes for the majority of the bugs that have been identified in the Beta versions, and are considered stable enough to test on an environment that has addons and themes that are not part of the default phpFox script. My personal recommendation is to not use a RC version on a live site in most cases. RC versions still may contain bugs and issues, especially when introduced in an environment that has modifications to the site via custom development, addons, or themes. I would suggest that you test a RC version on a clone of your live website, thoroughly, before considering it for your live environment. It is likely that your addons and themes and other modifications will conflict with the changes in the default code, which will cause issues and errors on your site that you do not want your members to have to deal with.
phpFox will usually release 2 RC versions during the development cycle.
It is important to remember that a RC version is seldom suggested to be used for a live website, and even then, only after thorough testing on a clone of your live site in a development environment. RC versions are supported by the phpFox support team.
Stable versions are released to be used on a live website and is fully supported by the phpFox support team. This is the version that you should be running as your website, not an RC, and definitely not a Beta. Stable versions have the majority of known bugs and issues fixed and the new features or optimization/maintenance settings should be functioning properly. Although the Stable version is released and ready for your live website, you will need to make sure that all addons, themes, and custom modifications are ready as well. You will need to contact and/or wait for the 3rd party developers to update their products or OK their products to be used for the latest stable version. Many 3rd party developers wait until Stable versions are released before they begin working on changes they need to make to their products. You may have to wait a week or two or more after a Stable version is released before you consider upgrading your live website, just to give the 3rd party developers time to make sure their products are working with the latest phpFox release.
It is important to remember that although a Stable version is ready for your live website, you will need to make sure that all your addons, themes and custom modifications are ready for the Stable version. It is best to test the Stable version on a clone of your live website before upgrading your live website to the latest Stable release. It is also important to update your addons, themes, and custom modifications as necessary and as instructed by the 3rd party developers.
You should now understand the differences between the versions that phpFox releases during the development cycle.