back to article GNOME alone: FOSS desktop folk to start counting in whole numbers again

Popular open source desktop-and-more outfit GNOME has taught itself a new way to count. A post by Emmanuele Bassi, a GTK Core Developer at GNOME Foundation, explains that the project has reached version 3.38 and that “After nearly 10 years of 3.x releases, the minor version number is getting unwieldy.” “It is also exceedingly …

  1. IGotOut Silver badge

    Translation....

    Because Chrome did it, why not us?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Translation....

      Chrome? A mere upstart newcomer, who would care about their numbering?

      No, I'm assuming that they're following in the footstep of Solaris, who did that in 1998. Fiddling with version numbers was already a tradition for them.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Translation....

        Slackware jumped from 4.0 to 7.0 in '99 just to demonstrate how meaningless distro version numbers are :-)

        1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: Translation....

          Suse started with 42, divided by ten as to not look suspicious. So 4.2 it was.

    2. DS999

      Re: Translation....

      Samsung went from 10 to 20 (which will only make sense if the next one is 21) but no one compares to Microsoft who went from 95 to 2000 then down to 7.

      1. Sandtitz Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Translation....

        Warhammer went straight to 40000.

  2. RyokuMas Silver badge
    Trollface

    Downvote...

    "... start counting in whole numbers..."

    ... and there was me thinking that the headline referred to percentage market share...

    (C'mon folks, let's see if I can break that downvote record!)

    1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Downvote...

      Well you can kinda use whole numbers if you use scientific/E notation: e.g. 10E-3

    2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Alert

      Re: Downvote...

      "(C'mon folks, let's see if I can break that downvote record!)"

      Don't wake the giants! @amanfrommars1 and @bombasticbob have been getting decent upvotes and not many downvotes recently, so don't provoke them by trying to displace them

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Re: Downvote...

        Well, I certainly know what I prefer to believe if considering whether the change is due to their dumbing things down a tier or two for everyone or else more folk being enabled to understand so much more of what is happening all around them elsewhere in the deep webs and dark shadows of future shady virtual enterprise, and upping their game a level or three in order to be better able to engage.

        Some would tell you the eternal optimist is both fated and destined to be constantly disappointed .... but that surely identifies the eternal pessimist who appears to have simply lost all hope of fundamental/radical/existential change being possible. That's a hellish space place for sure. You can keep it, for it is bound to rotten and rotting in such a pond of stagnation and petrification.

        1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
          Angel

          Re: Downvote...

          Up-voted. Didn't read, though.

          1. Youngone Silver badge

            Re: Downvote...

            I read it.

            I think amanfrommars1 believes some stuff, but I have no idea what.

            He is getting more coherent. I am unsure if that is a good thing.

      2. RyokuMas Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Downvote...

        I think El Reg already did that...

    3. jake Silver badge

      Re: Downvote...

      You probably won't get too many downvotes for that here ... ElReg commentards tend to be a fairly realistic lot. (With exceptions. Of course.)

      1. RyokuMas Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Downvote...

        "ElReg commentards tend to be a fairly realistic lot."

        Really? Every time these days that I see a howl of derision about how our privacy has been eroded, I have to resist the urge to link back to one of several posts I made a few years back that got downvoted to hell and back, and say "told you so..." :D

        And don't get me started on how many seem to still be stuck in the browser wars era of thinking!

        ... or maybe I'm just jaded because Eadon was just starting on his journey into madness when I joined...

  3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "especially from an engagement and marketing perspective"

    These people know things I don't. What exactly is the downside of 4.0 ? Who cares if it's 4.0 or 40.0 ?

    I don't think the users do. The only thing they care about is it is the next version. Those faithful to Gnome will continue using it whatever the number is.

    So what's the negative in going with 4.0 ? I'd really like someone to explain that to me.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: "especially from an engagement and marketing perspective"

      The marketers are in charge, not the techies. It's as simple as that.

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Re: "especially from an engagement and marketing perspective"

        The marketers are in charge, not the techies. It's as simple as that. .... jake

        Don't be betting any money you cannot afford to lose on that opinion being perfectly true or not entirely incorrect, jake. :-)

    2. cbars

      Re: "especially from an engagement and marketing perspective"

      Its in the article, GTK 4.0 is about to be released, they both have Gnome in the name so distgiushing the two in a search engine (never mind stack overflow) will be tricky. "There's a bug in Gnome blah blah 4.0" will cause confusion.

      It makes sense to me, also the entire premise of the article is that sub numbers get confusing, so they don't want a 4.1, or to confuse that Gnome 2, Gnome 3 are *really* different, but the difference between 4 and 5 is trivial.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: "especially from an engagement and marketing perspective"

        What difference does it make? Search Engines don't work anymore anyway. (Obvious, really, as you rightly point out that search engines have difficulties with the difference between GTK 4.0 and Gnome 4.0 ... Shirley THAT should be a no-brainer!)

        1. stiine Silver badge
          Mushroom

          Re: "especially from an engagement and marketing perspective"

          re: search engines don't work any more.

          Well, they work, but at least google search has been completely owned. If I search for an obscure CentOS error message, I can guarantee that 80% of the search results, starting from the first entry after the ads, will be malware who used a filter to provide google's searchbot with a different page than the rest of the internet. Fortunately, I run Firefox with NoScript on Linux so all I get is a blank page.

      2. jake Silver badge

        Re: "especially from an engagement and marketing perspective"

        "sub numbers get confusing"

        To whom?

        1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge

          Re: "especially from an engagement and marketing perspective"

          subway users in large cities?

          1. David 132 Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: "especially from an engagement and marketing perspective"

            Mariners looking at control boards deep under the ocean waves?

        2. cbars

          Re: "especially from an engagement and marketing perspective"

          It is a bit weird that 1.10 is smaller than 1.8, and if this really were a number should mean 1.10 is the earlier release.

          Ambiguity: Famously an excellent approach to engineering...

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: "especially from an engagement and marketing perspective"

        "the entire premise of the article is that sub numbers get confusing"

        And that's the problem. They aren't. A major release should indicate a change sufficient as to not be backwards compatible and minor numbers should reflect minor changes. We've lived with 3-part numbers - 3.8.2 and the like - for a long time. We've come to understand what the increments are likely to mean.

        It's throwing all that away that is confusing. Will a change from 137 to 138 be equivalent to 4.11.2 to 4.11.3 or 4.11.2 to 5.0 in old money? Will it signal a change of underlying GTK version?

        I think Jake's put his finger on it - marketing's in charge.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "especially from an engagement and marketing perspective"

          Its worse. Ipswitch makes MOVEit. Their version numbers used to increment normally, 6.1 to 6.2 to 7.0 to 7.1 to 2018.0...fuckers. And they only changed the name of the installer and the version number in the UI. They DIDN'T CHANGE IT anywhere else. They're now up to 2020.1 and they're still maintaining both marketing version numbers and integer version numbers.

          And it gets worse, they have been bought by a company named "Progress." Guess how much extra typing in to a search engine is reuired to not get results that include "Pilgrim's progress"... fuckers.

    3. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: "especially from an engagement and marketing perspective"

      Numbers are arbitrary. I've seen open source projects which have been usable and have a version like from 0.03.

      I think the main thing conveyed from going from 3.38 to 40 is that the desktop has become a more iterative experience, a continuously developing thing which isn't necessarily bound by maintaining backwards compatibility. That said, it's not like GNOME is going to say there is a new update available for it, instead you'll get whatever version is out when the distributions go out. So I doubt it means much in practice really.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: "especially from an engagement and marketing perspective"

        "the desktop has become a more iterative experience, a continuously developing thing which isn't necessarily bound by maintaining backwards compatibility."

        Too true. Some of us like backwards compatibility in things like continuing to be usable, not chucking out functionality, not slurping data to a mother ship somewhere and not suddenly starting to show advertising. We also like backwards compatibility for the under-pinnings, the libraries which applications rely on to display on the desktop.

    4. Tail Up
      Trollface

      Re: "especially... ...marketing perspective"

      they probably take it as sorta sup-dup X (went common quickly, eh?), which is not grown up yet.

  4. Frank Zuiderduin

    The gnome developers killed their product with version 3/gnome shell anyway, so who cares.

    1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge

      I up-voted your post 1.85 times.

  5. Steve Graham

    Nigel Tufnel

    "Why don’t you just make ten louder and make ten be the top number and make that a little louder?"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      sustain

      but mine goes to 11, that's 1 louder!

  6. IGnatius T Foobar !

    Point releases are obsolete.

    With everything moving to continuous integration and continuous delivery, point releases no longer make sense, especially when you're not in the business of selling major upgrades in a boxed set. Get onto a whole number, and increment it at each release. Come on people ... it is the current year.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Point releases are obsolete.

      This is a framework, imagine you were programming against some major API and it quietly changed from week to week with no way of knowing what changed or which version you were on

      Oh hello Windows10 - didn't see you over there

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Point releases are obsolete.

      "With everything moving to continuous integration and continuous delivery, point releases no longer make sense"

      Point releases show that the grown-ups are still in charge. Nobody on the user side asked for continuous delivery.

      "Come on people ... it is the current year."

      Yes, but what current year? The year number only advances when there's a full year's worth of updates. ATM it's 2020.09.22. We didn't advance to 2021 on Jan 2nd, 2022 on Jan 3rd etc.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I just came here to say...

      > latex -v

      pdfTeX 3.14159265-2.6-1.40.20

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: I just came here to say...

        Wasn't Tex's version number supposed to be adding an extra digit of pi?

        On the basis that the number of digits in Pi is infinite but the number of bugs in Tex is finite

    4. Cat Empire

      Re: Point releases are obsolete.

      So the new releases are pointless.

  7. ld

    GNU Emacs

    RMS did ðat ages ago.

  8. Adrian 4 Silver badge

    whole numbers

    So they're using whole numbers but the next two releases will be 40.0 and 41.0

    What's the .0 for ? decoration ?

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: whole numbers

      Again, it's nothing more than marketing. So yes, decoration. Which should tell you all you need to know about the Gnome project.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021