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Stupid Numbering Conventions


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After years in this industry I still have to go through a two second mental calculation whenever I see something like

sendmail 8.12

My metric trained decimal mind sees that as

sendmail 8, 1 tenths, two hundredths

meaning that version 8.2 is newer than version 8.12

If fact, this is meant to be read as

sendmail 8.twelve

While I’m loath to argue with software developers who are clearly smarter than me, you and everyone else who hold a different opinion, maybe if you’ve had 9 “point” releases to your product, it’s time to increment that main version number by one.

Or maybe all should be better about writing things like

sendmail 8.12.0
sendmail 8.12.x

Of course, this situation beats the heck out of commercial software land, where version numbers have been replaced by two letter abbreviations of nothing and year numbers. i.e. Flash MX, Flash MX 2004 etc.

Copyright © Alana Storm 1975 – 2023 All Rights Reserved

Originally Posted: 11th July 2005

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