[Distutils] A tale of two conventions: Incompatibility of version comparison semantics

Ben Finney ben+python at benfinney.id.au
Mon Jun 15 15:08:33 CEST 2009

Floris Bruynooghe <floris.bruynooghe at gmail.com> writes:

> On Mon, Jun 15, 2009 at 08:10:05PM +1000, Ben Finney wrote:
> > 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.
> Alpha, beta and release candidate releases have been around for ages
> and I imagine most distributors have figured out a way of coping with
> this.

That doesn't answer the point raised, though. Isn't a major reason for
all this work to help the downstream distributors to help migrate *away*
from munging version strings and toward version strings that compare
sanely as-is?

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

That's exactly the sort of hack I would hope would no longer be
necessary for version strings formed under an improved version
comparison specification.

Forgive me for saying so, but this looks strongly like abandoning the
criterion of “make it easier for distributors than it is at present”.

 \       “Are you pondering what I'm pondering?” “Umm, I think so, Don |
  `\          Cerebro, but, umm, why would Sophia Loren do a musical?” |
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Ben Finney

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