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I just joined the Japanese Language SE site and it's got a "beta" subscript after it in the title.

Does it just mean some parts of the site will still be in flux? Does everything still (mostly) work with beta sites? Anything special about them, like a review or bug submission?

Beta implies to me we're still testing and that might come with an extra step of submission of issues found.

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    You can read about it here there is section for "Beta" phase. In short, site in Beta phase is by all means full site with exactly the same features as "full grown" site however there is risk that it will not get enough traffic or won't have good enough quality overall and it might be taken down and not reach the final stage. Rare, but it happens. Example for site the closed during public beta – Shadow The Princess Wizard Oct 4 '12 at 12:35
  • @ShaWizDowArd - 4.If a site reaches critical mass is that defined somewhere that I'm missing? …not that it really matters, I’m just curious. – Mike Oct 4 '12 at 12:40
  • Mike - no, there is no automated formula. For each site in Beta, Stack Exchange employee is assigned to track how it evolves and when he/she believe it's mature enough he turns it into full member. (Maybe not single person, but that's the general idea) EDIT: might be a single person for all sites: area51.stackexchange.com/users/5/robert-cartaino – Shadow The Princess Wizard Oct 4 '12 at 12:46
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The "beta" in this context really applies to the community, not the software per se. After a proposal has gained enough momentum for the dedicated Stack Exchange website to be launched then it goes through a private and then public beta before finally graduating or disappearing.

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