Beta-testing reports for SuperMemo 8

This is the text of an e-mail sent to all beta-testers of SuperMemo 8.2, May 16, 1997

May 16, 1997

Dear Beta-Tester of SuperMemo 8,

Beta-testing of SuperMemo 8 comes to a close. In the over-Internet program, we had 135 registered beta-testers who submitted 183 beta-testing reports and contributed to removing 78 major bugs from the program! Although we used to invest in larger-scale non-Internet beta testing, this was our best beta-testing program ever! For all of you who sent in their remarks, we would like to present our most sincere gratitude; also on behalf of future users of SuperMemo.

Among optimistic facts about beta-testing was an overwhelming proportion of international beta-testers (93%) from countries as remote as Malaysia and Singapore. Also the very positive opinions about SuperMemo 8 make us very optimistic about the future sales.

On the downside, there was a surprisingly large proportion of beta-testers who focused on creating hypermedia knowledge systems without paying much attention to the learning algorithm that is central to SuperMemo. It seems that, unlike with SuperMemo 7, the new abilities of SuperMemo 8 detract the attention from repetition spacing.

As promised, all of you will qualify for a free upgrade to the final release as soon as you completely fill out the following questionnaire. If you do not understand questions, please answer I do not understand.

  1. Has SuperMemo 8 met your expectations? Please explain why in as much detail as possible.
  2. How many hours in total have you been working with SuperMemo 8?
  3. Have you used SuperMemo 7 before? Or any other SuperMemo implementation?
  4. If you have used SuperMemo 7, which program better satisfies your needs: SuperMemo 7 or SuperMemo 8? Why?
  5. What do you like most in SuperMemo 8?
  6. What do you dislike most in SuperMemo 8?
  7. Will you continue using SuperMemo 8? If not, write why. If yes, write for what applications.
  8. What would you improve in the documentation (help file SM8.HLP)?
  9. Have you used the learning procedure in SuperMemo 8 (button Learn or option Learn : Outstanding material or Ctrl+L)? How extensively?
  10. Have you created your own components? What types (sound, image, video, etc.)?
  11. Have you used Tools : Append Nodes?
  12. Have you used Tools : Mercy?
  13. Have you used Tools : Testing?
  14. Have you transferred hierarchy nodes or the entire knowledge system to another system?
  15. Have you used File : Import : From SuperMemo 7?
  16. Do you understand the difference between a topic and an item?
  17. Which options, buttons or icons would you remove from SuperMemo? List at least 3 (if any).
  18. Have you found bugs you have not reported yet? Please describe?
  19. Have you had errors reported by File : Recover?
  20. Using the scale from 0% to 100%, where 100% is the best, and 0% is the worst, how do you grade SuperMemo 8 as software?
  21. Using the same scale as in the previous point, how do you grade SuperMemo as a method of learning?
  22. How do you grade user-friendliness of SuperMemo?
  23. How do you grade the documentation (help file SM8.HLP)?
  24. How do you grade SuperMemo Web Site?
  25. How do you grade beta-testing program feedback on the web?
  26. What would you change in future beta-testing for your convenience or for better bug-spotting?
  27. List the three most important things you would change in SuperMemo 8 to better satisfy your needs: 1... 2... 3...
  28. How would implementing corrections from the previous point change your grading of SuperMemo given earlier?
  29. Have you tried the knowledge system ABC of SuperMemo 8? Was it helpful?
  30. What price would you be ready to pay for SuperMemo 8 downloadable from Internet? (although you will naturally get it for free)
  31. How did you learn about SuperMemo?
  32. How did you learn about the over-Internet beta-testing program for SuperMemo 8?
  33. What are your propositions for SuperMemo Web Site?
  34. Would you like to develop your own knowledge system and publish it on CD-ROM? What system?

Write more about your impressions, problems and propositions. All new ideas for future releases are welcome!

Once again, please let me express my most sincere gratitude for your involvement in improving SuperMemo.

Yours sincerely

Piotr Wozniak, PhD
President, SuperMemo World
ul.R.Maya 1, Poznan 61-371, Poland