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The Amazing World of Software Version Numbers 321

Posted by timothy
from the remember-the-slackware-incident dept.
Harry writes "In theory, software version numbers should be incredibly mundane. In reality, companies have long twisted them for marketing purposes, avoided ones they didn't like, and even replaced them with things other than numbers. I've prepared a tribute to them with some facts and ruminations, but there's a lot I don't know, and I'd appreciate help on the historical side of things. (Anyone know when the standard decimal point-based system came into use?)"
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The Amazing World of Software Version Numbers

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  • What now? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 14, 2009 @12:06PM (#28692147)

    ...standard decimal point-based system...

    What is this standard you are referring to?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I'm no coder but to me the X.Y.Z format has always been where Z = minor bug fixes, Y = new features, more bugfixes, whatever, and X = major new features and such.
      • Well, clearly you're NOT a code because if you were you would have titled that post "Response 2.1.1 Beta Relase. Do not read on production systems!"

  • w/r/t Windows (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gcnaddict (841664) on Tuesday July 14, 2009 @12:08PM (#28692179)
    Windows 7 is NT version 6.1, but that's because of appcompat reasons only.

    Microsoft frequently jumps build numbers before milestones (7000 for Beta 1 of Win7, 7600 for RTM)

    Microsoft often picks arbitrary numbers for revision builds (used to be buildnum.0, now it's buildnum.16384 as the starting point. Example: Vista RTM is 6000.16386, meaning there were three compiles of build 6000)
    • Windows 7 is NT 6.1 because it's really just a .1 upgrade over Vista (NT 6). If they wanted to lie to applications and change the version number, they could have. They have mountains of other app compatibility settings, the number itself shouldn't hold anything back.

      • Re:w/r/t Windows (Score:5, Informative)

        by gparent (1242548) on Tuesday July 14, 2009 @01:45PM (#28693639)
        No, you're entirely wrong. The version number has been chosen specifically in regard to applications which check the first number (6) only, in order to not break them (since Windows 7 remains compatible with mostly everything Vista, this is a good thing).

        It still remains a major performance/stability/feature upgrade, thus why it is NT "7" theoretically.
    • Gibbering about windows a bit; his list of why Windows 7 is, well, 7 is wrong. It should be:
      Windows 1.0
      Windows 2.0
      Windows 3.0
      Windows 95\98\ME
      Windows XP
      Windows Vista
      Windows 7

      There was a seperate branch of:
      Windows NT4
      Windows 2000
      Windows XP

      XP, of course, being the point where desktop windows & workstation\server windows got joined into one product line (based on NT). Didn't everyone know this already?

      • Gibbering about windows a bit; his list of why Windows 7 is, well, 7 is wrong. It should be:
        Windows 1.0
        Windows 2.0
        Windows 3.0

        Just to be pedantic, there were also important sub-versions in this list you've omitted, ie.: Windows 2.1/286, Windows 2.1/386 see link [wikipedia.org] for details. These we more than just the networking add-on you got with 3.0 > 3.11 .

    • Re:w/r/t Windows (Score:5, Informative)

      by subanark (937286) on Tuesday July 14, 2009 @12:58PM (#28692903)

      Actually the reason the minor version number started at 16386 is that the part of the upper bits for the version number are used to indicate branch. In this case the release bit is set to 1, if this was a 'test' build then it would be set to 0. Another bit (which isn't set) is used for the corporate branch, which includes security updates that aren't as fully vetted and changes to core components requested by corporate partners. Additionally, the lower 16 bits of the build (6000) is used to indicate service pack (at least that was the plan right before release). This change to how service packs were handled was done in the last month, and yes Microsoft fudged the version number towards the end so it would be 6000 (although it was close to that at the end).

      (I was the performance test engineer for Vista update services during the initial release of Vista)

      • by gknoy (899301)

        Wow, that's pretty cool! I regret having used up my mod points, as I wish I could mod you interesting. :)

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by xsarpedonx (707167)
        "I was the performance test engineer for Vista update services during the initial release of Vista" Shouldn't you have posted this anonymously?
    • It's only somewhat arbitrary

  • FFx2 (Score:5, Funny)

    by T Murphy (1054674) on Tuesday July 14, 2009 @12:08PM (#28692187) Journal
    All I know is with Firefox on 3.5 and Windows on 7.0, Windows must be twice as good as Firefox. AOL of course trumps everyone.
    • by tnk1 (899206)

      You forgot MacOS 10.

      And of course, Emacs 22.3

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by martas (1439879)
      so windows 98 is 14 times better than win 7? and of course, win 2000 is by far the best. (actually, that last part I believe. windows 2000 was like windows NT, but with graphics that didn't make you want to pull out your cerebral cortex through your nose.)
    • by rrohbeck (944847)

      Ha! Our software now uses repository revision numbers, currently around 11200. Too bad the numbering restarted when we converted from cvs to svn.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 14, 2009 @12:11PM (#28692221)
    Better late than never!
  • Personally I use the following numbering scheme:

    major.minor.revisionXY

    where the major number is 0 before the software is feature complete (based on original roadmap), 1 means feature complete, and this tends to increment when a full rewrite is done; minor are various milestones, and 'revision' are bugfix releases.

    XY may be 'alpha','alpha2','alpha3', 'beta','rc1'.

    So if you see a version number 0.9.3beta, you'll know it is an almost feature complete version, third bugfix but otherwise untested (be
    • by veganboyjosh (896761) on Tuesday July 14, 2009 @01:00PM (#28692943)
      Odd numbers for unstable releases?

      That you, Gene Roddenberry?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by amicusNYCL (1538833)

      I realize it's personal preference, but it irks me seeing applications with a version number less than 1. Yeah, it's fine to say "it's version 0.5 because it doesn't have all the features", but it's never going to have all the features you want or planned.

      The way I see it, by definition, the first time you hit Compile, you're creating "The First Version" - version 1.0. As far as I'm concerned, it starts at 1.0, not 0.1 or 0.0.0.1 or whatever else. If it takes all the way to version 2.0 to get "all the fe

  • If one only increments the major number when you break backward compatibility, then you can get 1.10, 1.11, 1.12, etc. But I think that looks awful! It doesn't sort right in text anymore, and 1.01.5 isn't going to make any friends.

    • by MightyYar (622222)

      It doesn't sort right in text anymore,

      It sorts properly in the Mac Finder ;p

      But you are right, it's a pain when you are searching an FTP site for the latest version and you basically have to scan every single file because the newest isn't automatically sorted to the top or bottom of the list.

      • It doesn't sort right in text anymore,

        It sorts properly in the Mac Finder ;p

        But you are right, it's a pain when you are searching an FTP site for the latest version and you basically have to scan every single file because the newest isn't automatically sorted to the top or bottom of the list.

        Sort by date created/modified :P

  • I remember when MAME was hovering around the 0.97 mark and the user forums were asking if this meant that in 3 version's time MAME would hit version 1.0. The answer came back as no because that would mean that it was complete and MAME is nowhere near completed. Instead it went from 0.99 to 0.100.

    (That's a period denoting the end of the sentence, not part of the version number in case anyone was confused.)

    • The worst project I know of for this is e17. It hasn't been released yet, but they started with e16 and started adding decimal places until they got to version 0.16.9999, then they skipped the 9999 and just started counting again, so what I have installed on my PC is version 0.16.9999.050 or so and then they lost track of version numbers all together and just started using svn to update everything. Now they've changed yet again and they're using snapshots based on dates, which is a little more reasonable.
    • That is pretty silly, IMHO. I always thought 0.99 > 0.100. If they didn't want to go to 1.0, sounds like they needed to start going .97001, .097002, etc...
      • by idontgno (624372) on Tuesday July 14, 2009 @12:53PM (#28692841) Journal

        Which points up (no pun intended) the semantic confusion of using "." ("period", "full stop") as a version component separator. Semantically, it's not a decimal radix point. Therefore, the second component of your hypothetical version is not 99/100, it's integer 99. Therefore, integer 100 is indeed > integer 99, and the "." shouldn't be pronounced as part of it.

        That doesn't happen, of course; we all* say "point 99" or the like, which is exactly the same as if the "." were, in fact, a decimal point.

        *Not strictly "all"; I usually say "dot" instead of "point", partly because of this confusion. This usage became mainstream with "dot Net" since the string "Net" makes no sense as a real number "r" such that 0 > r > 1.

        • Now that you mention it, I DO consider 0.100.0 to be greater than 0.99.0. The extra "." relays to my brain that this isn't a decimal, so .100. > .99.
          Good points!
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by odflyg (1593171)
      That's actually not rare at all. For example Firefox went (briefly) to 0.10 after the 0.9 series. It merely depends on whether you think of the version as a decimal number with a fraction or as two (or more) numbers, separated by a dot.
  • Well, decimal version numbers in their current form go all the way back at least to MS-DOS, so that would be 1982 (if not earlier). It used X.Y version numbers, eg. 2.1, 3.0, 3.1, with the now-common interpretation of the major versio number meaning significant new features were added and the minor version meaning fixes or enhancements to existing features but nothing major new or changed. I'm pretty sure the convention wasn't new with DOS, it probably goes back even further to the mainframe world.

  • Ubuntu using the year and month for version numbers is a great idea, then at a glance you can see when the distro was released, after any application or operating system makes it to a 1.0 release it should be done this way = YY.MM

    The crap that microsoft does is just exactly what i see in versions, versions like home basic, premium, ultimate just sounds like marketing cruft, when we all know the OS was originally built with ALL the features and all they did was cripple it in steps and named them as such,
    • YY.MM might work for software bundles, like operating systems. But version numbers are of great importance for internal use, thus:

      major.minor.micro.somethingForDevs

      major -> major + 1 = major products differences... a lot of new stuff... don't blindly install this stuff (or, this requires clients to renew their license)
      minor -> minor + 1 = might need configuration changes, 3rd party software linking to this might break
      micro -> micro + 1 = just bugfixes, everything should still work as before (withou

      • by FudRucker (866063)
        i understand it, it is more than an average user needs, maybe put that info in to the "Help > About" dialog box
  • Don't forget TIFF (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 14, 2009 @12:19PM (#28692349)

    All TIFF files have a version number of 42, chosen, according to the developer docs, for that number's deep philosophical significance.

  • Software versioning gets really confusing with game programming, specifically versions vs. sequels. Zelda II and Mario II are sequels of the original - very different games. However, Quake 3 is more like a version difference from Quake 2, even though technically it's a "sequel". Windows 7 is definitely a version difference even though it wants to be a sequel. The difference? Because they are different, people understand why they should pay for sequels, while they want the less-different version upgrade

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by oodaloop (1229816)
      Forget version numbers. How did you pick that user name?
    • Yup, there is a reason they are calling it Windows 7 instead of what it really is -- Vista SP3. Nobody wants to pay for a service pack.
  • os x (Score:5, Funny)

    by psyklopz (412711) on Tuesday July 14, 2009 @12:25PM (#28692445)

    The article mentions OS X and the fact that they will be running out of cat names pretty soon.

    My prediction: as soon as they run out of cat names, they'll go to 'OS 11'

    Steve Jobs will market it by saying 'this one goes to eleven... It's one better, isn't it?'

  • Nothing will beat the Clipper version system... Everytime I used the Summer 87 edition, my mind would conjure up images of a schooner slicing through the chop in Nantucket Sound, with a bikini clad blonde bombshell sunning herself on the bow... ahhhhh...

    And then someone who hadn't bathed in 3 or 4 days would lean over me at my IBM PC XT computer and ask me for help in compressing an index. Daydream explodes.
  • Step 1: v0.1 Beta
    Step 2: ???
    Step 3: PROFIT!
  • Oracle (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Major Blud (789630) on Tuesday July 14, 2009 @12:31PM (#28692529) Homepage
    My favorite has always been Oracle. The first commercial release of their flagship DB was version 2.0. There wasn't a version 1 because they wanted the product to sound more mature.
    • by tb3 (313150)

      Watcom was even better. The first release of their C/C++ compiler was Watcom C 10.0. They picked 10 because it was bigger than any competitor's version number at the time.

    • by kigrwik (462930)

      Don't let the fact that DB2 is an IBM product restrain you from mocking Oracle.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Bigbutt (65939)

      The first dBase was dBase II (from Ashton-Tate) to indicate it was more stable than the non-existant dBase I (Vulcan perhaps :) ).

      [John]

  • Version numbers is about communication and it doesn't matter one bit how fancy your system is if it's not communicated and understood by the intended recipiants. That can be things like API compatibility, binary compatibility, scope of UI/feature/fix changes or just the time of year (Ubuntu version numbers, anyone?) - there's really only one cardinal sin, and that's releasing something with an version number that doesn't correspond to the expectations. I don't mean version number nazis that insist you can't

  • I'm not sure if the step in Word for Windows version numbers really was because of WordPerfect. Prior to 6.0, Microsoft had two independent Word release series: The original Word running on DOS, which already had reached version 5, and Word for Windows, which only had reached version 2. With Word 6, the DOS and Windows version numbers got synchronized; since 5 was the latest DOS version number, it made sense to use 6 next.

  • Read it (Score:3, Funny)

    by Vollernurd (232458) on Tuesday July 14, 2009 @12:37PM (#28692607)
    Well, that's 4 minutes of my life I'll never get back. Chrissssst... I'm a geek and even I thought that was dull.
  • Just this past week, in order to maintain some rpm repositories from multiple sources, I needed to discard versions of a package older than the most recent. What a pain (think about it ... mixed alphanumeric, usually numeric, but needing to sort numeric on arbitrary decimal and - boundaries).

    Luckily I discovered the Sort::Version perl module. *whew*!

  • Another interesting version number case occured during the gcc/egcs split: The egcs releases had two version numbers for the same release: One starting with 1.0.0, numbering the egcs releases, and the other one, IIRC starting with 2.91.0, giving a "gcc version number" to indicate that it was still considered to belong into the gcc family. After egcs officially bacame gcc again, the first releases had the form 2.95.x before the 3.0.0 release came out (starting from which the numbering followed the normal sch

  • I'm not sure what the previous versions were called, but Google's Android OS recently released Cupcake. Next up [gizmodo.com] is apparently Donut, then Eclair, then Flan.

  • XP and Pentium (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Trevin (570491)

    One reason marketers have given products names instead of numbers, which isn't mentioned in the article, is that courts have ruled that companies can't trademark numbers (though I can't find a source reference).

  • I grew up with (Score:5, Informative)

    by kenp2002 (545495) on Tuesday July 14, 2009 @12:53PM (#28692849) Homepage Journal

    A.B.C.D

    A: Major Release, violates backwards compatability

    B: Feature Add Increment. Indicates new features from prior release

    C: Bug Fix Release Increment.

    D: Build Identifier usually YEARMONTHDATE

    e.g.
    1.1.0.080215
    1.2.12.090714 (12th minor update to feature set 2 for release 1 built on July 14th 2009)
    1.3.1.091224 (First minor update for feature set 3 built on Dec 24th 2009.)

    Since most software tends to follow quarterly or monthly release schedules you rarely get more then 18 minor revisions if they are building weekly on a quarterly schedule or more then 4 on a monthly schedule.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by codematic (1023035)
      The scheme makes sense... but i have personally had knock-down drag out fights over this and whats picked is something that has no structure, and no mathematical attributes whatsoever. Managements picks something that conveys little information to software, and less to the customer, then blames the developers when its shown to be useless... Thats modern day software development...
    • A.B.C.D

      A: Major Release, really freaking hard. Will probably deprive you of sleep for a day or two. Start with backups, and test the backups before you bother.

      B: Minor Release. Probably will not hork your computer, but will randomly do so.

      C: Some number that I pretty much ignore.

      D: LOL Wut?

  • How can you omit Oracle? The first version was 2.0.

  • Has anyone seen another program admit they screwed up and go backwards?

    I purchased the old shareware database program PC-File (and still use it!) Not sure of the 1st versions, i don't think it had a number. 2nd one i got was version 5 and was a good program that could have used a few tweaks but was fast and simple. Version 6 changed drasticly and many functions got slow as it tried to go to a pretty UI. Version 7 tried to fix version 7 but was still sluggish. The next version released was.....version 5.5! T

  • For my own stuff at one point, I automated the version numbering based on dates. I would set the first year as the "epoch" for 1.0 and munge the day into the minor number. This was before I started working in an environment with a revision control system.

    Later, I would have my programs output their revision numbers. (There are Subversion hacks combined with your makefiles that make this fairly easy).

    Of course, in the corporate world there is always some agreed-upon version number that has nothing to do w

  • by linebackn (131821) on Tuesday July 14, 2009 @01:03PM (#28692983)

    One of my favorite version numbers was the version of the first Doom II executable (which used a different version number than the game itself as it shared the exact same executable with Doom I, Doom I shareware, and Doom II). The initial release of Doom II was "Doom II Version 1.666"".

  • "Never trust/buy a x.0 version"
    Sounds familiar? Of course. And with good reason, a .0 version more often than not was a "it compiles, ship it" version. If you were smart, you waited for .2. Kinda like you wait for SP2 today.

    What did companies do? They offered a .0 version for a week or two, immediately followed by the "final final" .2 version. I wouldn't be surprised if we could soon only buy SP2 versions of some new OS.

    The first signs are already there. Or did you get a WinXP version that didn't include a

  • This is one of the most irritating things about working in Ruby. Most of the people writing gems don't seem to have ever learned version numbering conventions, so it's not at all uncommon to have a point release (e.g., 1.1.2 -> 1.1.3) that breaks API compatibility. The Merb folks have been the worst offenders, in my experience.
    The most irritating thing about this is that the documentation for the gem system has an entire section devoted to version numbers. It very clearly explains the major/minor/bug fi
  • The author of the article states that he doesn't know why we are on StarOffice 9 yet OpenOffice 3, when they are the same suite. Let me help.

    StarDivision created StarOffice. They eventually sold StarOffice to Sun. When Sun released StarOffice 5.2, they open sourced it. This created OpenOffice. OpenOffice then had trademark issues and changed it's name to OpenOffice.org.

    OOo released 1. Sun rebranded it as StarOffice 6.
    OOo released 1.1. Sun rebranded it as StarOffice 7.
    OOo released 2. Sun rebranded it

  • ...personal encounter with a second decimal point in a version number. Although I was just a high school kid at the time I can still remember all the geeks on the other side of the Mac/PC divide claiming it was aberrant and wrong.

    Thus my general disrespect for proponents of the Windows operating system was born.

  • Algol 60 (Score:3, Informative)

    by pz (113803) on Tuesday July 14, 2009 @01:08PM (#28693077) Journal

    The article states,

    Did Windows 95 start the idea of using years instead of version numbers?

    Nope -- it's a far older conceit than that. The earliest example I'm aware of is Fortran 66 ...

    I believe Algol 60 predated that by a good 6 years, and Algol 58 by an additional two. While Algol 58 didn't see as wide usage, Algol 60 was, to many, the definitive version of that language.

    See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ALGOL [wikipedia.org]

  • Possibly because he fears that trying to explain them will cause a brain hemmorage.

  • Version 13 (Score:2, Informative)

    by Chrutil (732561)
    The article asks "has anyone ever been brave enough to sell a version 13 of anything?"
    There was AutoCAD Release 13 back in the day.
  • Starcraft maps (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AlpineR (32307) <wagnerr@umich.edu> on Tuesday July 14, 2009 @01:43PM (#28693605) Homepage

    I release several games as custom maps in Starcraft. Many of them are refinements of earlier versions made by others. And all of them are released unprotected so that others may add their own refinements.

    Version numbers get messy. I typically go to the next major number if I'm doing a serious overhaul of my own or somebody else's map. Then I increment the minor numbers for bug fixes, balance changes, and minor enhancements.

    But then somebody else comes along, makes a minor (and often terrible) change and releases it as the next major version. Or they make major changes and release it as the next minor version. Then when I make a new version, it either clashes with those other versions or looks older than the versions released with big jumps.

    I've tried adding descriptor names to my versions, a la Vista. So I have "Phantom BGH Gold 1.0" as my refinement of "Phantom BGH 2.4", but most people don't seem to get that. When my updates landed me at "Phantom BGH Gold 3.0" people at least paid attention that it might be newer, but they still complained that it was different than "Phantom BGH 2.4".

    I also tried adding "Classic" to a game version which was a totally rewritten implementation of a game type with other versions in the 3.0 to 9.0 range. I intended the "Classic" to signify I was focusing on the core ideas of the game type, but so many people thought it meant "old". As if the first version ever released of that map was labeled "Classic", and a label of "New" means new forever.

    TheNevermind

  • Reason vs Politics (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hazydave (96747) on Tuesday July 14, 2009 @02:17PM (#28694093)

    Engineers usually have a legit reason to brand a public version number... the next release, and the number indicates the level of importance. So far, so good.

    But then marketing and politics get into play.. and if you're in the business, these are good things to know. Sometimes it's just marketing... the DECT cordless phone standard somehow mutated version 1.6 into version 6... I guess that sounds more grown up in the marketplace. But it's also the first time they were using "DECT" as a buzzword in their marketing. No harm, no foul.

    Other times, it's keeping up with the joneses. Some have a method to their madness.. I use lots of Sony Media Software tools... you pay once for any major version, all of the minor versions in that release are free updates.. not just bug fixes, sometimes including new features. New one comes out, you can decide to upgrade or not... if you skip a version, you still get an upgrade price on the one after that. I'm really happy with the way these guys do business.

    At other times, something as stupid as a version number can become a billion-dollar weapon. This only happens when idiots are involved in contract law, I think, but it's happened. My classic example: MacOS and the open Mac platform. I was designing this kind of hardware in 1996-1997, the PReP, I mean CHRP, er, umm, I mean PPCP standard for Mac compatibility. This was largely at the urging of Apple's CHRP (um.. whatever) group, whom we (PIOS Computer AG, Hildesheim, Germany) met with in January of '97.

    So, like Power Computing, UMAX, IBM, Motorola, and others, we're off making a standard PowerPC platform machine. Maybe it should have been clear, after meeting at Apple and seeing that a Mot Starmax they had on-hand was the fastest Mac every recorded... at this side of an Amiga 3000 running a Mac emulator (a previous project of mine... the A3K, not the Mac emulator). Jobsie wouldn't like this, would he?

    So Jobs comes back, and like magic, at the Mac Conference in September, they announce MacOS 8... which is MacOS 7.6.something with a new name. And guess what... Motorola and IBM, the two big, old-school, real serious companies with more lawyers than PIOS Computer had employees (by some orders of magnitude, I suspect) had left a huge, ugly, gaping hole in the contracts they negotiated with Apple for MacOS... Apple gets to renegotiate the contract, completely and totally, on major revisions of the OS. But they get to decide the definiton of a major release of the OS!

    They didn't really cancel MacOS licensing then.. I don't think even IBM and Motorola were stupid enough to have allowed that. But it was only a small functional difference... Apple was going to licence MacOS based on the CPU in the box.. the faster, the more expensive. My little startup had produced the first full systems shipping at 300MHz (there may have been "accelerator boards" before then, but we integrated the system... we bought motherboards from UMAX and designed our own CPU cards)... that would have been something like $500 per MacOS version to license, despite the fact you could buy it off-the-shelf for like $75.

    I think this is also a good lesson for any engineer allowing lawyers to do things that have major impact on their future business course. Nothing I could have done about this, but after losing something like $100 million on the while Mac Clone thing, one would hope Motorola learned that hard-bought lesson. I do note they have "literally hundreds" of engineers working on Android-based cell phone stuff. Yeah, that ought to be a bit safer...

    • a cautionary tale (Score:3, Insightful)

      by anothy (83176)
      as a business-conscious engineer, i'm well aware of the business/marketing reasons for wanting to tweak or set the version numbers. in the commercial world, sadly, these things do actually have impact, so i'm willing to trust people with more experience than me in such psychological fields to have their input. what kills me is when they don't realize that there's actually valid technical reasons for version identifiers, too.

      at my last company, i was part of the new R&D department intended to make us no
  • Metals (Score:3, Funny)

    by Jeremy Erwin (2054) on Tuesday July 14, 2009 @02:49PM (#28694497) Journal

    Gold, Platinum, Platinum Plus were all substitutes for proper versioning in the 1980s and probably 1990s. This is parodied by many a perl script,

    $ua->agent("Schmozilla/v9.14 Platinum"); # give it time, it'll get there

  • by Dracos (107777) on Tuesday July 14, 2009 @03:01PM (#28694653)

    Netscape went directly from 4.8 from 6.0

    This was not as arbitrary as one might think. Toward the end of NS4's actual development cycle, there was an attempt to wring another major version out of that codebase, and it was called Mozilla 5. Eventually it was abandoned because the new NGLayout engine (now known as Gecko) was much better than the clunky old Mosaic-derived codebase. The NG stuff became the basis for Netscape versions 6 through 8, the Mozilla Suite, Firefox, Thunderbird, and lots of other things.

    I know there are some Netscape/Mozilla folks around here who could correct/expand that story.

  • Slackware (Score:3, Informative)

    by Phroggy (441) <slashdot3 AT phroggy DOT com> on Tuesday July 14, 2009 @03:17PM (#28694835) Homepage

    Slackware Linux [slackware.com] skipped from 4.0 to 7.0, because they wanted number parity with RedHat and other popular distros.

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