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version number or version string ?

Debian policy mentions a "version number" in a number of places. I think
it is misleading to call it a number, a version string would be more

Calling it a version number may give people the false impression that a
'.' is a decimal point rather than a seperator.

Also its a stretch to call it a number given the variety of non-digit
characters allowed... and that when these non-digit characters are used
they arent consistently used in a mathematical sense. 

In chapter 4 it states

"The version number format is: [epoch:]upstream_version[-debian_revision]"

And later...

"The upstream_version may contain only alphanumerics[14] and the
characters . + - :"


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