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  • Version-naming scheme: How does it work, and where did it come from?

    What's the story with the terminology used to denote the status of a program's development, such as:

    0.2.alpha.2

    0.3.beta.1

    v0.55b

    v0.1.12

    ... etc.

    Anyone have a link to a thorough description?

    so far, searching on this topic has been a mess.
    hmm... ?

  • #2
    I don't think there are really set rules, it's just up to the people who make it and how they decide to mark the progress. Sometimes with more popular programs (such as MSN, NS) you will find them skipping version numbers to keep up with competetors 'numbers' - because I guess this is important to an end user.

    Moderator: General web building

    Get out from under them, resist and multiply.
    Get out from under precipice and see the sky.

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    • #3
      Well that's just not the answer I was looking for

      Why on earth would most everyone who creates some version of some program decide to fall in line with an undefined naming convention -- and then ammend it with their own confusing variation?
      hmm... ?

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      • #4
        ... because every developer knows that their way is the right way & everyone else is an idiot for not seeing it.

        I think as long as you can point out to the user in your documentation or site the logic behind your convention then thats good enough.

        [not that I can talk and keep a straight face on this issue]
        resistance is...

        MVC is the current buzz in web application architectures. It comes from event-driven desktop application design and doesn't fit into web application design very well. But luckily nobody really knows what MVC means, so we can call our presentation layer separation mechanism MVC and move on. (Rasmus Lerdorf)

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        • #5
          Why is there no NS5?

          Moderator: General web building

          Get out from under them, resist and multiply.
          Get out from under precipice and see the sky.

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          • #6
            Well, there are some "standards" about it. Borland traditionally have a single digit version number, a double digit major revision number, and a triple digit minor revision number. Most other developing environments use three separate numbers [version,major revision,minor revision] using just as many digits as required for each of them.

            Then there is the datestamp/build/milestone systems. The build numbers are normally just incremented at each official internal build. The milestones are usually the builds that have been determined stable and reliable enough for non-developer testing. The datestamps are usually more useful for keeping track of same builds on multiple systems.

            Miscosoft tends to use the build number in the extended version number.


            An 'a' or 'b' trailing a version number usually denotes a alpha and beta build, respectively. An 'rc' denotes a release candidate. Often the 'rc' is followed by a counter. In difference to alpha and beta, which are targetted at testers for each revision, the release candidates are normally targetted at end users, and are just used in major version increments, or when you lock down some part of the interfaces and APIs a program uses.




            As for browser versions, don't get your head in there. It's marketing, browser and rendering engine version numbers, scripting engine version numbers and whatnot. Not to speek of the lock that seems to have taken place on the user agent string, that makes the entire "Mozilla/4.0" part of the user agent string less than redundant.

            Let me give you an example: Netscape 6.0 was based on Mozilla 0.6.4, which was released before 0.6.0. Both used "Mozilla/5.0" version numbers. Both had M18 instead of their revision numbers. Then there's a gecko datestamp as well.

            Mozilla FireFox 0.8 uses "Mozilla/5.0", a gecko datestamp of "Gecko/20040206", and a revision number of 1.6.




            Those are as general as you're going to get these rules. There's no standard about it and developers use different schemes. Live with it.
            liorean <[[email protected]]>
            Articles: RegEx evolt wsabstract , Named Arguments
            Useful Threads: JavaScript Docs & Refs, FAQ - HTML & CSS Docs, FAQ - XML Doc & Refs
            Moz: JavaScript DOM Interfaces MSDN: JScript DHTML KDE: KJS KHTML Opera: Standards

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            • #7
              Most companies have their own standards they use for their version number formats.
              OracleGuy

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              • #8
                Yeah, but the ones I talked about were general tendencies, except for Borland's system, which is used by their project manager.

                Most companies use a combination of them, tracking official versions and builds; or official releases, patches and internal versions, or using another scheme.
                liorean <[[email protected]]>
                Articles: RegEx evolt wsabstract , Named Arguments
                Useful Threads: JavaScript Docs & Refs, FAQ - HTML & CSS Docs, FAQ - XML Doc & Refs
                Moz: JavaScript DOM Interfaces MSDN: JScript DHTML KDE: KJS KHTML Opera: Standards

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                • #9
                  Ok, thanks everyone for clearing that up.

                  Wait! Maybe there is a standard after all: The Truth About Version Numbers
                  hmm... ?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by cg9com
                    ...you will find them skipping version numbers to keep up with competetors 'numbers' - because I guess this is important to an end user.
                    Case in point - ImageReady went from version 3 to version 7 in one leap.
                    Macromedia on the other hand....
                    Flash5, FlashMX, FlashMX2004, FlashMX 2004Pro..
                    Dreamweaver 5, Dreamweaver 6, Dreamweaver MX 6.1, Dreamweaver MX2004.
                    And don't even get me started on Director......

                    I take no responsibility for the above nonsense.


                    Left Justified

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by cg9com
                      I don't think there are really set rules, it's just up to the people who make it and how they decide to mark the progress. Sometimes with more popular programs (such as MSN, NS) you will find them skipping version numbers to keep up with competetors 'numbers' - because I guess this is important to an end user.
                      Yeah, it is the same concept behind AMD using PR codes for their chips. The end user looks at two competing products and one is Version 4 and the other is 6, they may think the one with version 6 is better. I'm sure it happens, sadly enough.
                      OracleGuy

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                      • #12
                        Case in point - ImageReady went from version 3 to version 7 in one leap.
                        Often happens when companies/products merge.
                        David House - Perfect is achieved, not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. (Antoine de St. Exupery).
                        W3Schools | XHTML Validator | CSS Validator | Colours | Typography | HTML&CSS FAQ | Go get Mozilla Now | I blog!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by cg9com
                          Why is there no NS5?
                          There was ... but it's just it only lasted for about 1 week, it was an open-source experiment which never made it.



                          Another reason why companies miss out version numbers is something like this, Apple's iLife '04 they were putting in iMovie 4, iTunes 4, iDVD 4 and so they didn't have it with different version numbers, iPhoto 4 (should of been 3).
                          Geoffrey Sneddon

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                          • #14
                            I used to use the three-digit system for my menu - "3.8.5" - but now i've switched to a pseudo-3-digit-2-digit system like Opera seem to use - where "4.02" is the same as "4.0.2" would have been.

                            I did that purely cos it looks nicer on the page, but it has disdvantages, like "4.112" - is that "4.1.12" or "4.11.2". I don't know - I've actually never had a mid-version that had more than 9 minor version upgrades, so I'm hoping it will never come up
                            Last edited by brothercake; Feb 22, 2004, 02:28 PM.
                            "Why bother with accessibility? ... Because deep down you know that the web is attractive to people who aren't exactly like you." - Joe Clark

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                            • #15
                              standard? how many people do you know count:

                              3,4,5,MX,MX2004
                              5,6,7,CS
                              3.1,95,98,me,XP home

                              i rest my case
                              photoshop too expensive? use the GIMP! www.gimp.org

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