[development] code names for core releases?

Derek Wright drupal at dwwright.net
Tue Sep 19 20:49:04 UTC 2006

On Sep 19, 2006, at 9:39 PM, Richard Archer wrote:

> It would be a horrible regression to use names instead of release  
> numbers.

just to be clear about what people are proposing...

there would still definitely be version numbers, *once the code has  
been frozen*.  the point of the "code name" is to uniquely identify  
what's going on in the TRUNK until the next code freeze.  currently  
we call this "cvs" (worst possible name), "HEAD" (slightly better,  
but still ambiguous, since every branch in cvs has a HEAD), or "the  
next version" (too unwieldy for frequent use).  all of these "names"  
have the terrible property that the code which eventually became  
4.6.0 was called the "cvs" code at one point in time, as was the code  
that became 4.7.0, as is the code that's now on the way to be 5.0.0.   
so, if you read an older issue, forum post, email, etc, that talks  
about the "cvs" version, unless you're really slick and have a  
mapping of dates to eventual versions, you have no idea what code  
they're actually talking about.

no one's proposing that the version numbers go away completely, just  
that in the period of developing the next version, we know what to  
call it.  sadly, many people seem to think we can't just call it by  
the version number it's going to become, since the argument goes we  
don't know what kind of version number it deserves until we know  
what's actually committed to the source.  i think that's not true,  
since we don't claim to attach any real meaning to X vs. Y in the  
X.Y.Z version numbers of core.  it's therefore entirely subjective,  
and has no real significance at all, other than whatever imaginary  
significance people decide to give it themselves.

<goes even further out on a limb>

in fact, maybe the best solution is to just ditch that concept and go  
to "major.patch" version numbers for core. ;)  we could just call the  
next version "5.0", the security releases and bug fix releases "5.X",  
and we know the next version of core will become "6.0".  we'd always  
know what the next version will be -- they just monotonically  
increase.  so what if in 5 years, we're up to version "15.0" or  
something?  it's not like we're going to run out of bits in the  
integers that hold these values anytime soon. ;)

</back to reality>

i get the sense i'm in the minority thinking that this late binding  
is a) unnecessary and b) costly.  however, if i can't win that  
battle, i'll wholeheartedly support using code names instead of the  
terrible options we currently use ("cvs", "HEAD", etc).


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