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From Christopher Schultz <ch...@christopherschultz.net>
Subject Re: Tomcat Version Numbers
Date Wed, 25 Aug 2010 14:23:21 GMT
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Chuck,

On 8/20/2010 12:36 PM, Caldarale, Charles R wrote:
>> From: Christopher Schultz [mailto:chris@christopherschultz.net]
>> Subject: Tomcat Version Numbers
>>
>> What was the first version of TC 6.0 that was considered stable?
> 
> Looks like 6.0.1 was the first release marked stable.
> 
>> Browsing to http://archive.apache.org/dist/tomcat/tomcat-6/ seems 
>> to indicate that 6.0.10 was the first version not marked as "alpha"
>> or "beta".
> 
> You missed 6.0.1.

My confusion persists. Here is a sample of the subdirectory names from
the above directory:

[DIR] v6.0.0-alpha/           2006-10-21 00:02    -
[DIR] v6.0.0/                 2006-10-21 00:02    -
[DIR] v6.0.1-alpha/           2006-11-08 12:52    -
[DIR] v6.0.1/                 2006-11-08 12:52    -
[DIR] v6.0.10/                2007-02-26 17:13    -
[DIR] v6.0.13/                2007-05-14 15:32    -
[DIR] v6.0.14/                2007-08-09 12:35    -
[DIR] v6.0.16/                2008-02-06 23:55    -
[DIR] v6.0.18/                2008-07-30 09:51    -
[DIR] v6.0.2-alpha/           2006-11-16 00:02    -
[DIR] v6.0.2-beta/            2006-11-16 00:02    -
[DIR] v6.0.2/                 2006-11-16 00:02    -

So, there's a 6.0.0-alpha, and then a 6.0.0, unqualified. Does that mean
that 6.0.0 was stable -- at least after the alpha stage? What about,
say, 6.0.2? If 6.0.0 (or even 6.0.1) was stable, why was 6.0.2 relegated
to beta (and, apparently, alpha) status? Were those pre-6.0.2 tags with
6.0.2 being the release version? At some point, the -alpha and -beta
qualifications disappear (after 6.0.9, which is why I concluded that
6.0.10 was the first release version).

I'm sure I'm muddying the waters by using the term "stable" which
generally means API-compatible, not necessarily production-quality.

>> Is there a reason that the alphas and betas are not called 
>> something like 7.0.0-beta1 and 7.0.0-beta2, etc.?
> 
> Simplicity.  When a branch is tagged, its number is fixed at that point, and the content
frozen.  As field testing progresses, the designation of the branch may be advanced from alpha,
to beta, to stable - with no code changes.  Or problems may be discovered, code committed,
and a new branch tagged, with a new number.

The above does not strike me as simple. If you can have 6.0.0-alpha and
6.0.2-beta, why not have a tag progression that looks like this:

6.0.0-alpha
6.0.0-beta1
6.0.0-beta2
6.0.0-beta3
6.0.0 [release]
6.0.1 [release]
6.0.2 [release]

Again, this is partly because I feel a certain sense of order which
requires releases to be X.0.0.

My original question was sparked by the fact that 7.0.2 was released
which would, merely by the version number, indicate to me that it was a
stable bugfix release to the 7.0 line. In fact, it is another in a
string of non-production-quality releases.

For those who never read http://tomcat.apache.org/whichversion.html, or
don't understand it (btw: that page says 7.0.0 is the current version of
the 7.0.x versions), downloading the highest version number available
(7.0.2) might not be such a good idea.

- -chris
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