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Re: New Node

     On Mon, 23 Aug 2010 22:55:55 -0400 Andrew Lewis <andrew@xxxxxxxxxx>
>Quick question,
>Is it worth the extra effort to run the alpha release? Is the gain in

     Why do you assume that there is extra effort involved?

>performance/features make it optimal? And how is stable is Alpha considered?

     The issue is more often some new feature that you want, rather than any
notable performance enhancement, although the latter can occasionally be the
     W.r.t. stability, it bears repeating from time to time that the so-called
"-alpha" versions are misnamed because they are not restricted to in-house use
within the tor project and are instead made freely available to the general
public.  Therefore they are actually beta-release software and usually work
about as well as the so-called stable versions.  The apparent advantage in
offering two versions is that features in the stable versions are *assumed* to
have been more thoroughly tested, often by having been first introduced in the
the "-alpha" versions and thus used (i.e., tested:-) by a subset of the
general community of tor users for a while before being adopted universally.
The process doesn't catch 100% of problems, of course, but it seems to work
reasonably well most of the time.  (It is worth noting that one of the
requirements imposed upon the tiny group of directory authority operators is
that they agree to make sure that they are *not* all running the same version
of tor in order to avoid something introduced into a single version taking
down the whole tor network in one fell swoop.  As in population genetics,
there is a group survival advantage in diversity.)

>Is it functional but not fully tested, or bleeding edge and likely to fail?

     See above.
>Also I see mention of direct IP address assignments, and that they are
>expensive. How expensive are we talking about? And what are the

     What exactly do you mean by "direct IP address assignments"?

>bandwidth/hardware limitations that make it unfeasible?

                                  Scott Bennett, Comm. ASMELG, CFIAG
* Internet:       bennett at cs.niu.edu                              *
* "A well regulated and disciplined militia, is at all times a good  *
* objection to the introduction of that bane of all free governments *
* -- a standing army."                                               *
*    -- Gov. John Hancock, New York Journal, 28 January 1790         *