Updates and improvements to JdeBP's softwares are tested before release by a band of kind volunteers. There used to be a properly organized system for this, but it rather fell by the wayside when Andy Roberts, sysop of TSR BBS in the United State, who was the driving force and organizer, died.
Nowadays, everything is done on a more ad hoc basis. Pre-release versions of things are available for download from a personal WWW server, the URL for which is not made public — for the simple reason that it's on a dynamically-assigned IP address and it's bad form to punish whomever will be assigned that IP address next with WWW spiders from the likes of Google poking at it forevermore. (If you're reading this page on the WWW server itself, the pre-release download directory is here. There's no index, so append the archive name to that URL.)
Volunteering is as open as it always was. Anyone is welcome to be a pre-release tester. There is only one condition, which is not particularly onerous: Pre-release testers must not make the pre-release distribution archives available to the general public in any way. This is mainly a quality control measure. I don't want potentially buggy or incomplete versions of my software entering general circulation. (They can circulate the official releases, of course.)
Of course, testers are morally obliged to run the programs and report back their experiences on a reasonably regular basis.
There are no restrictions on discussing the pre-releases, and no non-disclosure agreements. Indeed, pre-release testers are encouraged to tell people about my softwares.
Currently (2011-04), pre-release testing is proceeding as follows:
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