periods in release numbers
Posted Jun 8, 2011 1:58 UTC (Wed) by giraffedata
In reply to: A conversation with Linus at LinuxCon Japan
Parent article: A conversation with Linus at LinuxCon Japan
Interesting... Is this why dots became popular in software version numbers, I mean because they make numbers more or less look like fractions?
I don't see how it can be anything else. Early software products had plain
natural numbers: 1, 2, 3, 4. OS/360 got up to the 30s or 40s that way, with
several releases a year. Later, the bureaucracy surrounding putting out a new
release got so heavy that people wanted a way to improve Release 31 without
actually putting out Release 32, so the natural thing was to make it
fractional. It was probably a while before they had more than 9 of these
subreleases, and then there was probably some dilemma about calling it 31.10,
but I guess we got over that. And eventually, as people put more and more
stuff into these cheap subreleases, the bureacracy grew up around those too,
and so we added another fraction: 31.10.1 etc.
If they weren't thinking of fractions, it would have been more normal to call
it "Release 31, Subrelease 10, Modification 1" and abbreviate it "31-10-1".
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