[Distutils] Attempted summary of version number thread

John Skaller skaller@maxtal.com.au
Tue, 15 Dec 1998 10:55:14 +1000

At 17:46 14/12/98 +0100, Konrad Hinsen wrote:
>> the anarchists, the middle-of-the-roaders, and John Skaller.  The
>> control freaks (me, Fred, and Konrad -- at least you two said you agree
>> with me!) are in favour of prescribing *syntax* for version numbers and
>> *suggesting* semantics.  The *proposed* syntax and semantics that I
>Right, and it seems worth pointing out again why, or rather to what
>extent, the interpretation of version numbers should be unified.
>The criterion is that it must be clear both for human users and for
>installation programs
>1) which of two versions is newer

        You are making a hidden assumption.
That the development process in linear.

        A comparator for packages is at best a partial
order: some packages may be linearly ordered, but it
is far too much of a constraint on developers to require this.

        Therefore, 'newer' is not an appropriate requirement.
A more appropriate comparator is a partial order 'is compatible with';
meaning that you can safely upgrade.

        It also follows that 'numbers' are an inadequate representation
of upgrade compatibility.
John Skaller    email: skaller@maxtal.com.au
		phone: 61-2-96600850
		snail: 10/1 Toxteth Rd, Glebe NSW 2037, Australia