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I think its because stoopid people associate big number jumps with dramatic changes.
Or maybe it's because carying one extra digit that never changes doesn't make any sense whatsoever. I'm personally fond of the udev/system release numbering. There's only one that is used for bugfix, minor and major releases with no useless decimals or any other clutter. Currently it's at 188.
Version number bumping has become very popular lately.
Firefox used to stand for years on 1.x/2.x versions, lately they've been running a major version what seems like every month.
Linux kernel took the major jump from 2.x to 3.x after sitting on 2.6.x for something like 8 years.
MS used to slowly increment their 3.x wondoze, then their 4.x, now suddenly they're going from 5 to 6 (visturd), 7, 8 in a matter of no time.
I think its because stoopid people associate big number jumps with dramatic changes. Not sure why they feel this way.
If you look at the kernel versions with each release, 6.0 was Vista, and 6.1 was seven... so wonder what Window Eight has coming, 6.2 or 7.0?
So where the hell did Windows Seven and Eight come from? It's all just silly marketing anyway.
Actually it looks like 9 is reserved for geometry shaders, i.e. 3.2/3.3.
No, 9.0 is reserved for the next OpenGL version bump (3.1), while 10.0 will be released when geometry shaders and the rest of 3.2/3.3 are done:
Originally posted by Ian Romanick
8/20: Make a Mesa 9.0 stablization branch. It looks like the few dangling bits of OpenGL 3.1 will get wrapped up pretty quick. I'm confident that we can at least enable 3.1 on the hardware where we currently enable 3.0.
2/15: Release Mesa 9.1. Since other folks are working on geometry shaders, this may actually be Mesa 10.0. It's way too far away to even speculate. At the OpenGL ES BoF, I joked that it would be our Valentine's Day present to the ES community, so we'll see what happens.
I think the geometry shader thing is just because it's the major component for 3.2 (3.3 is pretty much done except for 3.2 stuff), so they're still just bumping major versions with each opengl version bump. No version inflation going on, just using the same scheme they always have, but the time between 2.1 and 3 was a lot longer.