[Development] Adding support for version number comparisons

Keith Gardner kreios4004 at gmail.com
Sun May 11 03:16:48 CEST 2014

> Anyway, given that this is going to be complex, I propose we make up our
> own
> list and *document* it.
> I think that to come up with our own list, we need to identify the tree
different types of suffixes that we are talking about: pre-release, null,
and release.  The null suffix is obvious, "1.0.0", but we should define
what the pre-release and release ones look like.  Below are my thoughts
about some characteristics for the two difficult types.

Pre-release Suffixes:

   1. Usually has some keywords identify it: alpha, beta, gamma, and rc.
   2. These keywords can be anywhere in the suffix and can potentially be
   abbreviated to a single character [1].
   3. These keywords can have an optional numerical index.
   4. Some projects use repository identifiers: svn commit number, git SHA,
   build ID.
   5. As seen in this email chain, there are many different types of
   delimiters (- ~ .).

Release Suffixes:

   1. Usually more condensed than the pre-release.
   2. Some projects experience multiple "releases" with the same version of
   software (1.0.0-2).
   3. Libjpeg and OpenSSL use a single letter to represent a level of
   security for some software (1.0.0g).
   4. Repository identifiers also are used, i.e. XCode's clang copy.
   5. Multiple types of delimiters are used as well.

What am I missing in these lists and how should we go about supporting
them?  I am not proposing that we support every version number policy out
there but what is the most common cases so that we can cover the majority.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_versioning#Pre-release_versions

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