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Re: GNU Libtool 2.2.6b released

From: Jeff Squyres
Subject: Re: GNU Libtool 2.2.6b released
Date: Mon, 16 Nov 2009 07:32:08 -0800

On Nov 16, 2009, at 7:21 AM, Peter O'Gorman wrote:

We are intending to release 2.2.8 sometime (hopefully soon) with all the new features and lots of bug fixes from git HEAD.

So why not call this release 2.2.8 and bump the version number of the next one to 2.2.10? Is it technically difficult to do so?

I ask because version numbers are primarily for users -- not developers. So a little developer discomfort to rename specific releases is (IMHO) acceptable in order to provide a clear, unambiguous meaning of the version number to users.

This release only contains two bugfixes to libltdl that were deemed important enough to warrant a separate release from the "stable" 2.2.6 series.


My only point is that the last 2 public releases of LT have had semantically different meanings of the version number. It is therefore VERY unclear that 2.2.6b is a significant security/bug fix release (even if the actual changes are minor). If I (a random user) saw that LT released 2.2.6b but didn't read anything in the notes, I'd assume that it was another packaging change, like 2.2.6a was. I certainly would not immediately grok that it contains a security update.

OTOH, if the LT version number was bumped to 2.2.8 -- or even 2.4 -- I would assume that most users will think, "Something important must have changed. I should go a) read the release notes, and b) install this update." (all normal disclaimers on the word "assume", of course ;-) ).

My $0.02: the version number of a package is a critical method of communication to the rest of the world. It needs to have clear, unambiguous meaning. The last 2 releases of LT have significantly muddied the waters as to what the 3rd field in the LT version number means.

Can you clarify what exactly the minor number and suffix mean in the LT version number (for the purposes of understanding future releases)?

Sidenote: it's easy for email threads like this to get sidetracked into flamewars. Please understand that I'm a long-time/loyal LT user and greatly appreciate all your efforts -- I'm *NOT* trying to start a flamewar. I sent this email (and the emails back when 2.2.6a was released) not to be a jerk, but rather to ask a genuine user- perspective question and hopefully get some clarity for the future.


Jeff Squyres

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