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Re: PRE Version numbers

lists@lina.inka.de (Bernd Eckenfels) wrote:

> I just packaged the pre1 of jabber 1.4, but i wonder how to name the
> package ...

> But of course i want to have 1.4 to overwrite 1.4-pre1... 

tca@gnu.org (Tom Cato Amundsen) replied:

> Is it ok to use epochs for this?
> 1:1.4pre1-1 < 1:1.4pre1-2 < 1:1.4pre2-1 < 2:1.4-1

No.  According to the "Debian Packaging Manual":

     Note that the purpose of epochs is to allow us to leave behind
     mistakes in version numbering, and to cope with situations where the
     version numbering changes.  It is _not_ there to cope with version
     numbers containing strings of letters which `dpkg' cannot interpret
     (such as `ALPHA' or `pre-'), or with silly orderings (the author of
     this manual has heard of a package whose versions went `1.1', `1.2',
     `1.3', `1', `2.1', `2.2', `2' and so forth).

     If an upstream package has problematic version numbers they should be
     converted to a sane form for use in the `Version' field.

Therefore, I would use something like, or 1.3-1.4pre1-1.
Mention in the package's description that it is the first prerelease of
version 1.4.

Another alternative is to release a "prerelease" version of the package,
called for example, "jaber-prerel".  This package could use a version
number of 1.4pre1-1, since it is a separate package and therefore does
not need to worry about 1.4 < 1.4pre1.  This strategy has an additional
advantage: both the latest "stable" version and the latest "prerelease"
of the package will be available for Debian users at the same time.  The
downside is that you will need to have the Debian archive maintainer
remove the prerelease package when version "1.4" is finally released.

- Brian

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