If you plan to release your PHP scripts to the public they will probably go through several stages of development before they are ready for general use.
- Concept/Pre-Alpha: In this stage of development, the script is more of an abstract idea than an actual working program. Through this stage the coding starts and changes to functions are being made until a working draft is created.
- Alpha: In this stage you have a working script, but it probably still has lots of bugs that need to be worked out. You might not have all your features yet, but the core of the program is running and can be tested extensively.
- Beta: In this stage the program is near completion. All of the features are working and the software is often opened up to the public to test. There may still be some bugs that need to be worked out that may not have shown up in alpha testing.
- Final/Stable Release: After you have Beta tested your script for an amount of time, and feel that all the bugs have been worked out, you would release a final or stable version of the script. This is the last stage, and means that the script is complete and finished. This is often referred to as version 1.0 with any future changes making that number go up.