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What is up with software version numbering systems? Why no standard? How is it that some fly-by-night app, obviously obscure until the author managed to scrape together enough savvy to get it listed on a software download site, comes out of the gate at version 7.0.33.491 or some other lie to make it appear to be a more "mature" product than it really is? What's even more silly is a program with a verion like 0.63.5, meaning it isn't even the first version yet! Version zero?! That's like saying my yet unborn son is negative-3 years old.
I can remember when the first release of a program was called (surprisingly) version 1, or 1.0. Then, if an update or bug fix was needed, it might become 1.1 or 1.3 or something like that, and if the entire program was revamped, then you got version 2.0. Wow! What a backward, know-nothing concept!
Some of you might remember this, but there was this particular drafting-type program, very powerful stuff, that was version 2. Then, WHAM! The next release was version 9! What the heck happened to versions 3 through 8? Did they die in the coding room or what? Or did the company inflate that number for the sole purpose of beating down users, leading them to erroneously assume that the program was more mature and seasoned than it actually was? I'm a bit sketchy on the details, but didn't Microsoft do the same thing with Word (or maybe it was Excel)? I think it went from version 6 to version 8, with the excuse that MS wanted to bring it's versioning system in line with the other Microsoft Office applications. Ludicrous.
Even when a program author does follow a logical versioning system, the numbering he might use is different from what others use, so that the end result is a confusing almost meaningless mess. Here's a program called HeftyApp 2007, version 3.4.3.286734b. What in the world? Why not something simple, like HeftyApp 2007.1, then .2, then .3, etc.? There's another, AwesomeApp3, version 1.6.16. What?
I think a simple system is in order here. The first fullblown release of a program should be version 1 (add .0.0.0 if you like). Anything before that should simply be called "beta", and I think "release candidate" is a good way to denote a nearly-ready-for-primetime beta app. After that, increase the numbers SEQUENTIALLY, according to the level of change; no more of these version numbers t hat look like IP addresses or adding letters and whatnot! I also think using the year of release, followed by a point system is nice.
The bottom line is, after having become a download junkie over the past three years I have dicsovered that a lot of software is versioned haphazardly. Some inflate the number to make the product seem mature when it's obvious that it should still be in beta, others run up version numbers without there being ANY CHANGE AT ALL to the program (even the executable file size is the same), and I have even seen some versions numbered out of sequence (amazing, but true). It's all a beat-down, folks.

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Last Post by jwenting
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And who's going to be the version number police?
Are you proposing some UN agency where everyone has to submit requests to be allowed to release something and wait for a few decades (or pay a few million dollars in bribes) before it goes through the bureaucracy?

Take a look at the open source world, especially the religious Linux crowd.
Versions like 0.1.4.2.63beta2234rc42alpha2.5432.435 are the order of the day there.

If you don't like a versioning scheme, either don't use the application or be pragmatic and think "why worry, it's what it does that counts, not what it's called", but don't complain and try to impose your ideas of what things should be on all the world.

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That would be a really annoying thing to standardize. And really I don't think that it is for consumers, they just have to know it is a new version, and it is more for the developers to know what version it is.

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Omen;
I agree, but developers can have the version numbers internal to the program, no need to confuse the users. The version numbers do matter to the consumer; for example you may be asked, if you have a problem with a program, if you're using the latest version. Also, licensing is sometimes based on the version number (as in, license for ver. 2.6.357 won't work for ver. 2.6.410)
And by the way, it doesn't really bother me all that much; It just seemed like a fun thing to gripe about. :lol:

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Well it wouldnt confuse the user. And most of the time they are needed to help the consumer make the right updates and still make the program work, or if they are having trouble then the problem they are having in 2.7.100, might not be prevelent in 2.7.101. And as with the licensing usually companies make the license work for the main version like version 2, and you would need to get a different one for version 3.

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most companies wouldnt make you buy a whole new license for a program if it is version 2.7.101 if you own the license already maybe version 2.8 or 3.

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Dark Omen;
Yep, I'm agreeing that the numbers do have a purpose. Point is it would be nice if there was a standard method of determining versions. I download tons of software (no kidding) and a lot of them do these incremental version updates to thwart cracks and such, and many do require that you get a new license/reg code, though it's free.

mikeandike22:
No, you woundn't have to BUY the new license, just re-register to get a new one, but the license from the previous won't work. A lot of them do this to thwart cracks and those who put their serial/registration codes online.

Again, guys, This was just something I thought it would be fun to gripe about. I'm about a tenth as serious as I might seem to be.

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but developers can have the version numbers internal to the program, no need to confuse the users. The version numbers do matter to the consumer; for example you may be asked, if you have a problem with a program, if you're using the latest version.

And that's the only time you ever have to look at the version number of a program if you're an end user, when calling tech support so they can know which version it is you're using.

At all other times you don't have to worry about it, so why bother setting up a version number police and by law requiring everyone to only use your favorite numbering scheme?

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