AN OPEN PROPOSAL ON openSUSE VERSION NUMBERING:
I have been giving the openSUSE version numbering issue some serious
thought lately. I have come up with an interesting solution to the issue that
I would like to propose to the community. I am in no way married to this idea
but I do feel it is the best solution out of everything else that has been
The core idea of the model that I am proposing is to have a set of minor
number releases within an 8 month major number release cycle. I have outlined
my idea to illustrate what I mean by this.
1) Every 8 months we should launch a major version number release. This would
be kind of like Fedora does with their number every 6 months but ours would be
every 8. (e.g. openSUSE 12.0)
2) After launch, we should release a new image(GoldMaster) with the
updates/patches applied as a minor version number release, once a month for
the next 4 months. This will help people who have not installed the major
version release because of a bug to install a minor number release as bugs get
patched. Also this will help to denote stability and maturity in the release
(e.g. openSUSE 12.1, 12.2, 12.3, 12.4)
3) 2 months from the last minor number release we should release one more
minor number(this will be 6 months from the original release of our major
number)… this will mean the x.5 releases of openSUSE will earn a reputation
and respect for being very stable (e.g. openSUSE 12.5)
4) After the x.5 release we should not release any more minor number images in
preparation for our next major version number launch!
I think this model would make our 8 month cycle more competitive while
providing a more structured meaning to our version numbering and, more
importantly, maintaining an identity of our own. Also this will show the fast
development of our 8 month cycle.
Some things to consider before deciding on or implementing this for our
1) The increased frequency of version numbering will mean we will have more
opportunities to make noise about our distribution in a marketing sense. Also,
the transition and change to this model will give use marketing opportunities
to ensure the FOSS community knows of the changes before implementation.
Keep in mind that more noise means more energy from our marketing team and
2) This is something that CAN be done however, we would need volunteers from
the community to help with the added man power it will take to crank out the
minor number releases. Though it may take some added effort to achieve this
model, we have the infrastructure in place to help facilitate it (OBS,
openFATE, Connect, Lizards blogs, Wiki pages, Forums, etc.).
3) The frequency of the minor number releases proposed above is NOT the heart
of this proposal. Rather, it is a personal opinion on how the idea of
interim(minor number) patched releases within our 8 month cycle can look.
A NOTE: I know some will have an issue with this thinking that it abandons the
8 month development cycle but in my opinion this enhances it.
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