Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (3337 mails)

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Re: [opensuse] SUSE version naming
  • From: Thomas Hertweck <Thomas.Hertweck@xxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 17 Apr 2006 12:11:20 +0100
  • Message-id: <444377D8.50702@xxxxxx>

jdd wrote:
> [...]
> the usual use all over the net is to have X.x with X for
> major change ans x for only bugfixes change
> why not stay to this? or go back to this :-)

According to your link in the signature, you're working at a university.
Maybe you're not familiar with a marketing department. I can assure you:
dealing with a marketing department can be - well, call it - challenging
(maybe frustrating would be a better way to express it). The guys from
the marketing department usually live in their own world and don't care
(much) about the technical side of the whole project (at least most of
the time). These are my experiences, but I guess that it is similar at
SuSE or Novell.

Just a simple example: I know quite a lot of computer magazines that are
published on a monthly basis. Accordingly, they have 12 issues a year.
So from a "technical" point of view, it would make sense to publish
issue no. 1 early January, issue no. 2 early February, and so on.
However, to obtain a strategic advantage, somebody decided to publish
issue no. 3 already mid of February, and not early March. When people
now go to a shop, they see issue no. 3 of magazine A side by side with
issue no. 2 of magazine B. Guess what they will choose to buy! ;-) So a
whole battle started and the issue numbers and publication dates have
meanwhile become completely out-of-sync (well, I have seen some
improvements concerning this topic over the last years). Another
example: why do you think AMD specifies its CPUs as "3800+" although
it's maybe only a 2.6 GHz CPU? Marketing...

Back to Linux: I think that the version numbers of SuSE distributions
were not always driven by "technical" aspects but by marketing instead
(at least partly). And, maybe, they still are. When RedHat releases an
Enterprise server 10, Novell needs also something with a version number
10 at the end of the day. And so on.

In summary: the whole topic about version numbering is more complicated
than one might think as it has of course some commercial side-effect.
This list is mainly looking at this topic from a "technical" point of
view. But in order to come up with a solution that suits everyone (if
it's going to be changed at all), one needs to include the marketing
guys in this discussion...


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