[petsc-dev] significance of version numbers

Jed Brown jed at 59A2.org
Mon Mar 8 03:45:22 CST 2010

On Sat, 6 Mar 2010 17:12:33 -0600, Barry Smith <bsmith at mcs.anl.gov> wrote:
>     I have no objection to making each PETSc release crank up the  
> second digit. And organizing the numbers as 3.1-pX then 3.2-pX etc.
>     Historical explanation why we had the strange numbering before.
> 1) Most PETSc users don't know anything about "Open source standards  
> for release numbers" so we didn't feel a need to use it. It is only  
> the occasional oddball like you that ever comments on this.
> 2) We use to make releases far more often, then I didn't like the idea  
> of always cranking up the second digit since I felt it implied some  
> relatively large changes in the libraries when there really were not  
> any. So, yes it was somewhat arbitrary but not random.

Thanks for the explanation.  I actually brought this up in response to
comments I've heard from users and other libs that depend on PETSc, to
the effect of, "What are they thinking changing X in a subminor
release?"  So it's not just me, but perhaps the users that ascribe a
precise meaning to minor vs. subminor version numbers are still in the


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