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Re: [Gnu-arch-users] What are version numbers?

From: Tom Lord
Subject: Re: [Gnu-arch-users] What are version numbers?
Date: Wed, 10 Sep 2003 14:28:47 -0700 (PDT)

    > From: Denys Duchier <address@hidden>

    > Tom Lord <address@hidden> writes:

    > > Why do GCC releases and development lines have version numbers?
    > > [...]
    > > I'm not to clear why you would find this mysterious.

    > The problem starts with the docs:
    >    Version numbers in `arch' are _not_ the name of a particular
    >    "snapshot" or release of your project - though they are related to that
    >    concept.   Instead, version numbers are the name of a "development
    >    line": a sequence of changes that you make while creating a particular

    > This appears to state that the release version and the branch version
    > are different things... and that make sense to me.  We might choose to
    > maintain some correlation to avoid utter confusion, but that's just a
    > convenient convention.  For example, there might be a gcc--3.0 branch
    > out of which we successively cut 3.0, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3 releases.  But we
    > could just as well have used a gcc3--1.0 branch.

You're right that the correlation is convention but overall I think
you're misreading that section of the docs (which I'll try to remember
when I revise the docs).

All I really meant to say there is that the arch version id is the
name of a development line, not a particular tree.   Thus, GCC might
plan for a 4.0 release (a particular tree) but when they go to do the
work, they'll want a gcc--devo--4.0 (a development line, containing a
series of revisions leading up to the release gcc-4.0 and perhaps
containing subsequent revisions for gcc-4.0.1 etc.).

    > This is a source of confusion.  Hence the suggestion to drop the
    > branch version altogether, since it doesn't seem to add any value that
    > we could not just as easily have by naming branches gcc-3.0, gcc-3.1,
    > gcc-3.2, gcc-3.3 or just one big branch gcc-3.x (ok, the syntax with
    > the periods here is probably illegal for arch, but you get the point).

We'll see.   Personally, I've _already_ found considerable value in
branch labels in version ids when I start working with someone's
archive who has asked me to merge in some changes.   I think that will
only crescendo over time as higher-level tools are built on top of

Sure, I agree -- there are some "does it scale _down_?" issues here --
but so far they look minor.


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