Table of Contents
Software version numbers should be straightforward to implement. Their sequencing is hardly subtle: version 1.0 is the first production quality release; version 1.1 improves on it, version 1.2 is a little better; and so on until we get to version 2.0, which delivers more substantial changes. Then comes 2.1, then 2.2 ...
As anyone who has tried to implement such a scheme will realise, it can be a surprising source of problems, and although these problems have been tackled by many projects in many organisations there seems to be no consensus on how to reach a solution. To give an example: deriving the version number from the version control system is tempting, but ultimately turns out to be unsatisfactory.
This article discusses the problems in more depth and presents a simple solution. It goes on to argue that perhaps the emphasis on version numbers is itself the problem, and one which demands a more radical solution.