What’s in a name? Version numbers as names

What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;

— William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

In practically every discussion I’ve seen of Firefox’s new accelerated release cycles the topic of the version numbers stands prominent.  People have repeatedly claimed that it’s some sort of half-assed ploy to raise the version number to improve marketing.  I find that quite misguided, as I see the great promise the new development plan has for making Firefox the best browser it can be.

But people get bent out of shape over versioning, for whatever reason.  Though in this case the focus has been on the marketing angle, Linux has had heated discussions before regarding their versioning scheme.  And TeX just keeps on approaching Pi as its versioning scheme.

It’s just a name, and the only real rule that’s commonly followed is that the version should always be an increasing value (mainly because it’s good for programmatic comparison purposes).

Shakespeare was dead on in the famous speech by Juliet regarding the disputes that names cause.

Hell, the Internet Protocol simply skipped version 5, as ECMAScript skipped version 4.

Oh, which reminds me:

  1. APNIC (the Asian/Pacific Network Information Centre) is almost out of IPv4 addresses, meaning that for practical purposes all new allocations will be of IPv6 addresses and it’s time for the world to move on.
  2. Thanks to the awesomeness that hosts this blog, it now has a AAAA record (ie, an IPv6 address).

There’s a warm feeling to know that this humble blog is accessible to users over IPv6.  For now I can only wait for the day that I can actually get to it over IPv6 myself.