Philosophy of build numbers

simplsol at simplsol at
Tue Nov 14 19:56:48 EST 2006

For what it's worth, I've never liked double decimals or alphas in 
build numbers; I like the build numbers to be numbers.
What I use is "x.yyzzz". X is the version, the two ys are minor 
versions and the three zs are internal build numbers. For example Rev 
2.07004. This allows infinite versions, a hundred minor versions, and a 
thousand builds. It is also easy to see which version the build belongs 
to. And I can sort historical builds numerically.
I helps avoid the situation where you run out of space for numbers: 
what comes after OS X 10.3.9? Or 10.4.9? Or 10.9 - if the world is not 
ready for 11.0?
Just my 2 cents.
Paul Looney

-----Original Message-----
From: ambassador at
To: use-revolution at
Sent: Tue, 14 Nov 2006 4:27 PM
Subject: Philosophy of build numbers

    I'm extending the build system for my apps to use build numbers, and 
it seems there are at least two different philosophies about this: 
  a) Increment the build number each time every build is made, 
regardless of version. 
 PRO: One number tells you what you need to know 
 CON: That number can get quite larger over the life of a product 
  b) Increment the build number each time, but reset to 1 for the first 
build of a major upgrade (the number to the left of the first decimal). 
 PRO: The build number will likely never exceed the hundreds, even for 
   long-running successful programs 
  CON: You must also know the version to know where a build is in the 
larger sequence. 
  Is there of convention use widely enough to make alternatives easy to 
 --  Richard Gaskin 
  Fourth World Media Corporation 
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