Mesa May Move To A Date-Based Versioning System
Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 2 October 2016 at 10:09 AM EDT. 20 Comments
Beginning next year, Mesa developers so far appear favorable to moving towards a date-based versioning concept.

Per the proposal laid out yesterday by AMD's Marek Olšák, Mesa would move to a date-based version string. He explained, "2017 would start with 17.0, then 17.1, 17.2, 17.3 for following quarters of the year, respectively. 2018 would start with 18.0, then 18.1, 18.2, 18.3. The motivation is that you can easily tell when a specific Mesa version was released with an accuracy of 3 months."

In the mailing list posts, the developers don't appear interested in doing a YEAR.MONTH version due to the semi-random release process with Mesa seeing new versions roughly every 3~4 months rather than on an accurate cadence, thus instead just incrementing the minor version number for each release of the year.

The need for a new versioning scheme for Mesa is needed since it's nearly at OpenGL 4.5 compliance and we might not see a new OpenGL version for a long time. Under Mesa's current practices with their MAJOR.MINOR versioning system, the major version number is bumped when reaching a new OpenGL support level otherwise the minor version number continues to be bumped until hitting a new OpenGL milestone. With the focus beginning to shift to Vulkan, the Mesa version could be tied to that, but instead developers are opting for a date-based approach.

So far the developers responding to Marek's proposal has been favorable for seeing this new version scheme for the first release of 2017. The next Mesa release due out this month will likely still be called Mesa 13.0, reflecting completed OpenGL 4.4 support and nearly complete OpenGL 4.5.
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