Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Infinite Version is getting meaningless

"Infinite version" was a concept made popular by widespread transition to web applications that could easily be updated continuously. Google implemented the same with Chrome by using a brilliant system for automatic updating through distribution of differences between versions of the application.
One of the consequences was that the age-old rule for software versioning (link) has become pointless as the major versions were increased every couple of weeks without any significant change. Initially there may have been major changes in every new release but, as of late, the rate of those has slowed down. The versioning is now becoming meaningless with updates like the current Dev version of Chrome:

Chromium 31 Is Here, Chrome 31 Is Only Days Away: "Perhaps partially to offset the lack of new features, but mostly because it's tradition by now, the Chromium patch that bumped up the version number also comes with a few trivial facts about the number 31."

The lack of new features is confirmed at Google Chrome Releases blog (link): "This release fixes a number of crashes and other bugs."

The software version number is now just a sequence number to distinguish releases, stripped of any other information about the amount and type of changes included.

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