Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (539 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-project] Re: First Survey on openSUSE Version naming is open now
On Tue, 2011-03-15 at 21:59 +0000, Jim Henderson wrote:
On Wed, 16 Mar 2011 08:50:19 +1100, Helen South wrote:

One of my issues with major/minor is that we then have the pressure to
conform to Major/Minor. The progression must be followed, but what if
upstream have no major changes and nothing much is happening with the

Well, I think part of this comes from the underlying idea that the
version has to be bumed by a 'major' increment every 'x' amount of time.
Hence why that decision (on product version) IMHO is more of a marketing
discussion than a technological discussion.

What constitutes 'major'? Is it seen as partisan to mark a
significant development in one desktop or another? Can one major follow
another immediately if some major development occurs?

Indeed, these are fair questions.

My impression is that often change is a gradual, almost organic process
with a lot outside of our control. The 11.4 to 12 step could be regarded
as a major/minor, or it could simply be an abbreviated incremental
process. I gather it is seen somewhat as a step to 'major' but it
concerns me that this means that to go to 12, we are actively looking
for reasons to make it major (without stepping on KDE toes over Gnome
SHELL, for instance).

In my formal role at Novell, I've had this discussion internally (I work
in the training department on testing & certification - the discussion
has been in the context of 'internal' to my small team, not with the SLE
team itself) with regards to SLE, and ultimately it seems that Linux in
and of itself is an evolutionary platform.

It's pretty rare for there to be a major change (such as the change in
look from KDE 3.5 to 4.0 or from GNOME 2 to GNOME 3 - both of which IMHO
are major changes that immediately come to mind) within the product

The evolutionary nature of the Linux platform itself does tend to raise
the kinds of questions that have been raised (now repeatedly) about how
to version the openSUSE product. That's one strong argument for not
continuing the current scheme, because every release ends up with a
discussion around "so what version will we be releasing next?".

That's also a big point in favour of using a YYYY-MM or YYYY-XX style
convention rather than a sequential convention.

I think you hit it on the nose as to precisely why our major:minor
scheme doesn't work anymore (or did it ever?) It totally does not
reflect the evolutionary nature of FOSS. We should not be using a
scheme that misleads those who are unintiated in our scheme, which the
present format does (albeit unintentionally.)

One might even argue it should have been decided some time ago, but yes,
it is something that certainly needs to be worked out before the next

This is one case where I think tradition probably is not a very strong
argument - "we've always done it this way" isn't a good enough reason if
it means we have this kind of discussion every release cycle.

I don't think its a strong argument for two reasons: 1) for the
reasons you just stated and 2) because I don't believe that our scheme
necessarily was some 'endearing' quality of openSUSE that made it
beloved. It just simply was. When did we ever go around saying
"openSUSE is great because we say 'X.Y ? It simply isn't a defining
characteristic of openSUSE and even so, we'll always say openSUSE
(version), so people who don't use openSUSE are still going to know
we're talking about openSUSE. So, let's focus on creating a good scheme
that is highly explanatory to the uninitiated without them having to
read somewhere or be told by someone "this versioning means...."

Jim Henderson
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