Or in other words, “The more things change, the more they stay the same…”
openSUSE does not ship major/minor releases, but our numbering/naming scheme - NN.X - has led to a common misperception that a .0 release was major and a .x release was an update. This created a number of issues, including lack of media attention for .x releases, and user misconceptions about stability of .0 releases.
We have traditionally released versions as 11.0, 11.1, 11.2 and so on up to .3. (The exception was 11.4 because the Project wasn’t sure what to number the next release.)
The only really clear thing was our release cycle timing, as follows:
“openSUSE releases on a fixed schedule every 8 months no matter what. Therefore, all releases occur in November, July and March.”
There has been a lot of discussion over time within our community about our versioning scheme for distribution releases. We want to ensure our growing community, including users and media, have a clear and correct understanding of our release cycle - so naming or numbering needed to reflect that, and not cause misunderstanding.
Recently, the Project took these discussions to a poll, to gauge community feeling about the different options. Generally, the community expressed that they wanted a scheme that was uniquely openSUSE’s and reflected our release methodology. We looked at other distros for examples, and while we felt many had come up with excellent versioning schemes for their distros, none properly reflected our own cycle.
From this discussion and results of the poll, we have come up with the following scheme:
The .x shall henceforth reflect the month of release
1 = November
2 = July
3 = March
We will no longer ship a .0 version.
This solution brings a meaningful rationale to the scheme, without completely revising the look. And thus, our next release in November will be 12.1. In July 2012, we will ship 12.2 and in March 2013, we will ship 12.3. Then in November 2013, we will ship 13.1.