>> That was mostly to limit the wreakage done by debianists when creating rpms, btw, ~ is absolutely not necessary for package version ordering, as long as you are careful in your numbering.
> Since when did upstream ever ask distributions about how they should be numbering their releases?
Upstream can also actively ignore distributions' best practices. For example LibreOffice uses 188.8.131.52 to identify 3.3.4-rc2.  A naive comparator will tell you that 184.108.40.206 (actually 3.3.4-rc2 pre-release) is newer than 3.3.4 (the final version).