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Today I found an answer with a beta invite by email – i.e. the software is not yet available, but one can ask for an invite by writing a mail to user@domain.tld. The answer per se is not quite off-topic (though not "high quality", it looks like a plausible option). Still, I have a strange feeling with that. While the software might be an option one day, it isn't currently "official".

So do we consider such posts valid answers?

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    That specific answer seems low-quality, it doesn't tell how the software matches each requirement. In general, though, this is an interesting question: Assuming the answer is high-quality, do we like invite-only beta software?
    – Undo
    Aug 24 '15 at 20:18
  • @Undo exactly my points. This one doesn't tell the matches explicitly, though it implicates a fitting product – so it's a "double take" (I still didn't flag/downvote). But we better have a ruling when the "goodies" come :) So taking the quality factor of this one aside, and just deal with the "not yet available" and "get an invite by writing a mail" part for now?
    – Izzy Mod
    Aug 24 '15 at 20:22
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    Just wondering, would links to landing pages requesting invites to beta software be the same as this? For example, runnable.io
    – Tom
    Aug 25 '15 at 1:56
  • @Tom good point. Same category I'd say, indeed: one cannot directly get that software, but needs to register for an "invite" – which doesn't necessarily mean to really get invited. So it's not 100% sure one can get a copy at all, which makes such recommendation here questionable.
    – Izzy Mod
    Aug 25 '15 at 8:03
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Yes, it is completely fine, so long as the other requirements for a quality answer are met. However, just because it should be allowed, do not mean it is going to be a good answer. Answering with it is maybe unlikely to earn upvotes, and people who think that it is bad, will as usual, downvote.

To be a good answer, it should follow the usual requirements. Matching off against the question. Talking from personal experience etc. In this case, the personal experience should include how long it took to receive access after making a beta request.

The answer should also be clearly showing amongst the basic facts, that it is in Beta and what sort of arrangement the beta is. Whether it is a Open-Beta, a Email-in where everyone is accepted, a email-in where it is open only to randomly selected or the first X requester. It also should specify other information, such as whether it free only on beta and become paid after etc.

But there is no reason not to allow it.

  • we don't excude beta software in general.
  • we don't exclude paid software.
  • we don't exclude software which you have to go to a physical shop to buy
  • or even that is only available second hand.

There are many reasons why it might be a poor solution. But that is for voting, not for ruling on meta. Unless the specific case should be deleted as "Very Low Quality". Eg if the OP specified things like "Mature Product", "Industry Standard for X" as a important requirement.

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