VERSION string, support tangle

Hal Murray hmurray at
Tue Jun 7 06:02:16 UTC 2016

We had a discussion several months ago, but I don't think we actually decided 
what to do.

The current scheme is broken because I can't easily tell a pre-release 
in-development version from the released version.

I know of two ways to fix that.  One is to put a suffix on the in-progress 
versions.  So instead of 0.9.4 we would have something like 0.9.4x  Another 
approach is to use the odd/even numbers: even are releases, odd are 

I vote for odd/even.


We also have to leave room in the version number space for patching released 

That gets back to what is a release and what does support mean?  I think we 
want big releases and little ones.  What are the right words for big and 

Big releases are supported for a while.  A while is ballpark of a year.  
Support means we provide security fixes and possibly fixes to other bugs 
without reasonable work arounds.  In particular, we try to avoid user visible 

There may be long term support for selected big releases, say 5 years.  The 
idea is to support distros that provide long term support without spending 
too much effort maintaining versions that aren't used.

I think that means that a big release should be bumping the VERSION string 
twice, For example, from 1.5.13 to 1.6.0, then adding the tag, then bumping 
it again to 1.7.0

These are my opinions.  I hate spam.

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