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Why is next release not 2021.0.1? Getting confusing.

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Why is next release not 2021.0.1? Getting confusing.

Postby jackhulk » Mon Mar 08, 2021 3:51 pm

Hello

I always download the latest version when released, however the majority of the time the latest version released has previously year as version name, so I'm always wondering if it is in fact the latest version, or if there is another up to date current year version?

For example the current latest version (that I know of) is 2020.3.6, even though this was released in 2021. From reading February news letter it appears the next schedule release will be 2020.3.7. Why is that? Why would it not be 2021.01.01? This got really confusing last year when I had the 'latest' version named 2019, then the next version released was '2018.3.6' which was released in August 2020.

As long as I have the latest version I guess it doesn't really matter, but if version number is going to use the year just seems logical to use the actual year the version is released to avoid confusion, and then we can be sure we have the latest.

Thank you
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Re: Why is next release not 2021.0.1? Getting confusing.

Postby D-ECHO » Mon Mar 08, 2021 4:01 pm

This wiki article explains the version numbering: https://wiki.flightgear.org/Release_plan

Basically, 2020.3 is the latest stable release. It receives updates as a minor version number update, e.g. 2020.3.4, 2020.3.5, etc. As the current next branch has a lot of new features that aren't necessarily stable, it might take a bit before the next "really new" release comes out, which will then be 2021.1 (from my understanding).
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Re: Why is next release not 2021.0.1? Getting confusing.

Postby jackhulk » Mon Mar 15, 2021 2:58 pm

Many thanks, but the issue remains. If a version is released in 2021 for example, then surely it should be named 2021, but this is not the case. The https://wiki.flightgear.org/Release_plan even states...

Year (2020.1.0): The year the version was released.

...but that clearly isn't the case. Example, these are last three official stable version releases...

2018.3.6 was released in August 2020 (Yes instead of going from 2019.1.1 to 2020, strangely jumped back to 2018).

2020.3 was released November 2020 (Das ist gut :D )

2020.3.6 was released January 2021

I recall the same thing happening with releases going back further also. If a year is going to be used in the version numbering, then I don't understand the logic of not using the correct year the release was released in as per release plan. If the year has no actual relation to the year it was released in, why use the year as part of the version number to begin with? Might as well just revert back to the traditional version numbering that was v3.0 and so on. At least then it's possible to keep track of releases and users can be sure they have the most up to date version with simple and straight forward numbering.
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Re: Why is next release not 2021.0.1? Getting confusing.

Postby wkitty42 » Mon Mar 15, 2021 3:41 pm

FG versioning is done mainly as YYYY.X... the subversions (3rd number) are fixes to those main versions... this is why you will see, (eg) 2020.3 listed as the current LTS (Long Term Support) version... this covers all of 2020.3.1 through 2020.3.6 and future fixes to the 2020.3 version...

if 2018.* were still being maintained as LTS, then you could easily see a new 2018.something released in 2020 or 2021 if there were a really bad defect that was fixed and backported to it... since 2018.* has been replaced by the 2020.* LTS, 2018.* is EoL and no longer supported...

the next LTS version is not planned to be released until 2022 and each LTS currently has 2 years of support...

the point is to not be fixated on the year of the version and the date of its release...

with all of that said, it is possible that there may be interim 2021.* versions released but they are not LTS so when a new one in the 2021.* sequence is released, the previous one is EoL and no longer supported... this gives folks the option to run LTS which are supposed to be quite stable or they can run newer versions previewing and wide-testing new features... these new features may or may not be in the next LTS but they will generally not be in the current LTS...
"You get more air close to the ground," said Angalo. "I read that in a book. You get lots of air low down, and not much when you go up."
"Why not?" said Gurder.
"Dunno. It's frightened of heights, I guess."
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Re: Why is next release not 2021.0.1? Getting confusing.

Postby ludomotico » Mon Mar 15, 2021 3:45 pm

The confusion comes from citing the wrong line, I believe:

Year (2020.1.0): The year the version was released.
Number (2020.1.0): Which release of the year the version is.
Revision (2020.1.0): The patch revision on that release.

Then:

- 2018.3.6: revision number 6 of version 2018.3. The version was released in 2018, the revision in 2020
- 2020.3.6: revision number 6 of version 2020.3. The version was released in 2020, the revision in 2021

This 2021, there might (but probably won't) be a new revision 2018.3.7, fixing important security issues of version 2018.3. This revision won't have the features developed during years 2019, 2020, 2021... it would be only bug fixing of version 2018.3

At least, this is how I understand versions and revisions.
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Re: Why is next release not 2021.0.1? Getting confusing.

Postby wkitty42 » Mon Mar 15, 2021 3:47 pm

2018 is the previous LTS and no longer supported... 2020 is the current LTS and has 2 years of support...
"You get more air close to the ground," said Angalo. "I read that in a book. You get lots of air low down, and not much when you go up."
"Why not?" said Gurder.
"Dunno. It's frightened of heights, I guess."
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Re: Why is next release not 2021.0.1? Getting confusing.

Postby zakalawe » Mon Mar 15, 2021 6:32 pm

ludomotico wrote in Mon Mar 15, 2021 3:45 pm:This 2021, there might (but probably won't) be a new revision 2018.3.7, fixing important security issues of version 2018.3. This revision won't have the features developed during years 2019, 2020, 2021... it would be only bug fixing of version 2018.3

At least, this is how I understand versions and revisions.


Yes: we could in theory do a 2018.3.8 now, but there is likely no reason. 2020.3 which is the current stable release will receive bug-fixes and similar for another 18 months (at a guess) until 2022.3 is released and becomes the new supported LTS.

Because of the Sentry reporting, it's likely 2020.3 will receive considerably more bug-fixes than 2018.3 ever did: I expect we will be up to 2020.3.20 or even 2020.3.30 by the time 2022.3.0 is released.

The only other piece of the puzzle: if and when it makes sense, we can do a 'preview release' from next, and the numbering of such releases is a bit ... flexible :) eg if we do one this year it might be called 2021.2 or 2021.3. Since it's not an LTS, the only reason for the number is to give us a way to identify it in the bug tracker, wiki, etc. Preview releases don't receive support or bug-fixes the way LTS releases do, and there is no aircraft compatibility guarantee. It might be easier to give them codenames but most ticket/code systems expect a three-number system so that's what we use in practice.
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Re: Why is next release not 2021.0.1? Getting confusing.

Postby jackhulk » Mon Mar 22, 2021 11:34 am

The fact that there needs so much explanations goes to show that it's confusing. I understand what you are saying from a developers perspective, but try seeing it from a users perspective. As a user, if I see a game quoting the latest version is 2018.3.6 for example, I'm going to see that games as 3 years old.

Why not update the year to match the year it was released in? This is standard practice in all other games and software. Well they generally use the following year as releases usually happen towards the end of the year anyways. By not using the current year (at least) FG is released in, it will always appear dated/old/out of date.

When 2018.3.6 is released in 2020 (for example), it makes absolutely no sense. I understand 2018.3.6 is no longer current, this is just an example as it was the most extreme of examples as the 'latest' release jumped back 2 years. We've already have 2020.3.6 that was released in 2021, so the confusion appears to be set to continue.

If the year has no relation to the actual year it was released in (which according to the wiki release plan is what should occur), then it makes more sense to revert back to simply using 3.6, 3.7, 3.8 etc. This avoids confusion as the year is then not a factor. This also means files once again organize in the correct order, which helps quieten the OCD monster in me :P
Last edited by jackhulk on Mon Mar 22, 2021 11:47 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Why is next release not 2021.0.1? Getting confusing.

Postby Parnikkapore » Mon Mar 22, 2021 11:43 am

It should be noted that Ubuntu and Blender, two famous software with a preview/lts distinction, get away with this by not representing the year in the version number
There are free alternatives to (almost) every program you encounter. You just have to find them.
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Re: Why is next release not 2021.0.1? Getting confusing.

Postby bugman » Mon Mar 22, 2021 12:24 pm

It's not so hard. Just think of other software. Windows 2000 was released in 2000. But it was supported with updates until 2010. But every year from 2000 to 2010 it was still called and sold as Windows 2000. The same thing is happening here.

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Re: Why is next release not 2021.0.1? Getting confusing.

Postby wkitty42 » Mon Mar 22, 2021 1:11 pm

jackhulk wrote in Mon Mar 22, 2021 11:34 am:The fact that there needs so much explanations goes to show that it's confusing. I understand what you are saying from a developers perspective, but try seeing it from a users perspective. As a user, if I see a game quoting the latest version is 2018.3.6 for example, I'm going to see that games as 3 years old.

that's wrong thinking and you need to change it ;)

jackhulk wrote in Mon Mar 22, 2021 11:34 am:Why not update the year to match the year it was released in? This is standard practice in all other games and software. Well they generally use the following year as releases usually happen towards the end of the year anyways. By not using the current year (at least) FG is released in, it will always appear dated/old/out of date.

how would LTS releases be identified, then? my ubuntu 14.04 was released in 2014... my ubuntu 20.04 was released in 2020... both get updates and their version stays the same...

update your thinking to not rely on the the version number as the release date and you'll be ok...
Last edited by wkitty42 on Mon Mar 22, 2021 1:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"You get more air close to the ground," said Angalo. "I read that in a book. You get lots of air low down, and not much when you go up."
"Why not?" said Gurder.
"Dunno. It's frightened of heights, I guess."
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Re: Why is next release not 2021.0.1? Getting confusing.

Postby wkitty42 » Mon Mar 22, 2021 1:14 pm

Parnikkapore wrote in Mon Mar 22, 2021 11:43 am:It should be noted that Ubuntu and Blender, two famous software with a preview/lts distinction, get away with this by not representing the year in the version number

really? 20.04 is ubuntu 2020.04... same for all their other releases... 14.04 was 2014.04... 16.04 was 2016.04... i mean...
"You get more air close to the ground," said Angalo. "I read that in a book. You get lots of air low down, and not much when you go up."
"Why not?" said Gurder.
"Dunno. It's frightened of heights, I guess."
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Re: Why is next release not 2021.0.1? Getting confusing.

Postby wkitty42 » Mon Mar 22, 2021 1:15 pm

bugman wrote in Mon Mar 22, 2021 12:24 pm:It's not so hard. Just think of other software. Windows 2000 was released in 2000. But it was supported with updates until 2010. But every year from 2000 to 2010 it was still called and sold as Windows 2000. The same thing is happening here.

exactly
"You get more air close to the ground," said Angalo. "I read that in a book. You get lots of air low down, and not much when you go up."
"Why not?" said Gurder.
"Dunno. It's frightened of heights, I guess."
User avatar
wkitty42
 
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Location: central NC, USA
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Version: git next
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