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Proposal: Debian release numbers

As you all know, Debian stable releases are currently identified by two
things, a code name ("woody") and a release number ("3.0").

These release numbers have used the "major.minor" form since Debian 1.1,
with the intent that "major changes" would increment the major number
and "minor change" would increment the minor number.

However as we saw with the release of woody, there can be quite a bit of
argument^Wconstructive discussion over exactly what constitutes a major
enough change to increment the major revision.

Putting on my psychic hat for a moment, I predict a fair argument when
it's time for sarge to be released.  Does the gcc 3.2 transition
constitute a major enough change?  How about the inclusion of d-i?
KDE 3.1?  GNOME 2?  Linux 2.4?

I therefore propose that we alter the scheme for release numbers as

Debian stable releases will be identified by their code name and a
release number, starting at the next whole number (4) and incrementing
it for each new stable release.  The next stable release would therefore
be "Debian 4 (sarge)", the release after "Debian 5 (etch)", and so on.

Revisions of the stable release, which currently use the "X.YrZ" form of
release number, would instead append and increment a minor number to the
release.  The first revision of sarge would therefore be
"Debian 4.1 (sarge)", the second "Debian 4.2 (sarge)", and so on.

  Obviously this use of the minor numbers could cause some initial user
  confusion, so I recommend that the SRM's announcement for any
  revisions to sarge carry a paragraph along the lines of:
  "This is a revision of the Debian 4 (sarge) distribution, containing
  carefully selected package updates from proposed-updates.  The next
  full release of Debian, containing packages from testing and unstable,
  will be Debian 5."

  Worded by someone with more command over the English language than
  myself, of course :)

I think that sarge is the most appropriate time to adopt this proposal.
"Debian 4" would naturally follow on from "Debian 3.0" without causing
any confusion, while at the same time implying the change in release
number scheme by dropping the ".0" suffix.

Scott James Remnant     Have you ever, ever felt like this?  Had strange
http://netsplit.com/      things happen?  Are you going round the twist?

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