Because Chrome did it, why not us?
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 …
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.
"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...
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.
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.
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!)
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.
"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.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
"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.