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From Oleg Gusakov <>
Subject Virtual versions
Date Tue, 17 Mar 2009 17:01:20 GMT
I posted a short blog on the subject [], and in 
addition to that - I argue that LATEST and RELEASE are bad. What do you 

Let me first be clear about virtual versions as a whole: they are an 
excellent source of hard-to-find build errors and should not be treated 

While SNAPSHOT is a necessary evil and somewhat eases developer's life, 
RELEASE and LATEST are pure hell and should be deprecated right away.

All 3 grew from the lack of version manipulation tools, and SNAPSHOT at 
least allows some kind of control - it replaces a partial version and we 
in general agree that for, say, a jar versioned 2.3-beta-3-SNAPSHOT, all 
binaries with version starting with 2.3-beta-3-... share common APIs and 

Why in the world we assume that any released version of an artifact 
adheres to the same APIs and behaves the same - remains a mistery to me! 
This was RELEASE. When we touch LATEST - gloves are off - it can be 
anything, including the latest SNAPSHOT. So unless we don't have 
anything else to do - I'd deprecate them on the spot.


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