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Re: 4.0 vs 3.8 again

From: Robert T. Short
Subject: Re: 4.0 vs 3.8 again
Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2013 08:09:01 -0800
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On 11/19/2013 07:16 AM, Jordi Gutiérrez Hermoso wrote:
I know we've had this discussion before, but I want to revisit it
again. I know this is bikeshedding[1], so this will be my final word
on the matter, I promise. Or at least publicly, if anyone wants to
keep arguing this with me, we can do so while only the NSA watches.

I really think the next Octave release should be called "Octave 4".
Not "3.8".

I will restate my case, with a few extra bits of data that we now

    1) Gauging by the demand for it as well as the development buzz
       that it has spurred, the GUI alone is gonna be *huge*. It's such
       a big feature that a change in the major revision is warranted,
       even if our other big features like JIT compiling or OpenGL are
       still betaish.

    2) It's good marketing. "Octave 4" is a simple, single number to
       remember. It's easy to convey to people which Octave version has
       the GUI, and which Octave version started to make a point of
       also making timely Windows and Mac OS X binary releases.

    3) The ".0" part of "4.0" gives an indication that we are trying
       something big and new here. Then 4.2 and beyond will start
       adding more polish, perhaps JIT or classdef, but for now the
       ".0" will express to our users that this is a major change. I
       hope that this will earn us some leeway and indulgence from our
       users if not everything is great, as long as the GUI is great.

    4) I would like to have a website redesign to go along with the new
       release, and a big "4" would look very nice in this redesign.

I won't be terribly disappointed if we do decide to go with "3.8", but
"Octave 4" just sounds so nice.

- Jordi G. H.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bikeshedding

Jordi is right - a release with major feature additions probably should get a major release bump (although this is contraindicated if we were using semantic versioning) . But how stable is the "GUI"? If it isn't stable, the major bump should wait. Judging from the traffic on this list, I would say wait. The other really major feature is classdef support, but I get the same sense there. Should we allow for some stability before making the bump?

Since I have never been able to build octave with the "GUI", I can't judge this myself - I wouldn't use it anyway.


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