[Distutils] A tale of two conventions: Incompatibility of version comparison semantics (was: version scheme: a case for dropping ".devNNN" and ".postNNN")

Floris Bruynooghe floris.bruynooghe at gmail.com
Mon Jun 15 13:43:03 CEST 2009

On Mon, Jun 15, 2009 at 08:10:05PM +1000, Ben Finney wrote:
> Tres Seaver <tseaver at palladion.com> writes:
> > -1:  "practicality beats purity" here:  there is *no* case in which an
> > alpha version should *ever* sort after the final release with the
> > corresponding number.  If we specify the "simple pure" scheme you
> > propose, nobody will use it, period.
> Well then, I don't see a way forward on the issue of helping
> distributors to manage version numbers sanely. I don't know of any
> operating system package manager that returns different comparison
> results depending on what specific letters are used in the version
> string.
> All this specialness-of-certain-letters may make sense to Python core
> developers, but it's just going to result in nonsensical version
> progressions as far as operating system distributors are concerned. What
> will be the resolution there?

Alpha, beta and release candidate releases have been around for ages
and I imagine most distributors have figured out a way of coping with

In Debian's case 1.0a1 would become 1.0~a1 for example (IIRC), which
sorts before 1.0.


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