On Meaningful Version Numbers, and Their (Continued) Demise

I’ve already established how Microsoft, Google, and and the KDE project killed version numbers. Now the Mozilla Project is dancing on their graves. As of Firefox 4, Mozilla injected a tubo booster into their version numbering system, jumping in rapid order through Firefox versions 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 (with 9 coming soon, just wait!). Of course, Google keeps up the rapid pace of version increments (I’m at 15.0.874.121 on my Mac as I type this).
What do these mean? Absolutely nothing. Any software publisher who feels the need to arbitrarily change version numbering conventions is doing end users a disservice. Instead, if you want to have a version number that actually means something, take a nod from Canonical, which is doing (at least) one thing right with Ubuntu‘s version numbers.
In closing, to Mozilla, who’s managed to dramatically increase the rate with which they increment their version numbers, I congratulate you – you know how to use an increment operator. Now, please fix the damn memory leaks in your bloatware, k? Thanks.

Leave a Reply