In my last post I laid out the disadvantages of the BSD naming convention of the development branches. But if that’s too complicated for the public, how should one count the software releases and the bugfixes? Linux Torvalds has conceived a simple but potent nomenclature: the first number is the major release number. the second number indicates if it’s a development or a production branch (odd: development, even: production) the rest is for keeping track of the patch levels. The convention is easy to describe and somehow aides to imagine how software is being developed (“1.1 becomes 1.2 if it’s mature enough”) but it’s a bit too small-scaled for my liking. Everything, even the smallest commit, has it’s own full-blown name and number. And you run into trouble quite fast, if big commits are separated to several small ones but mixed with other unrelated bug-fixes or other stuff. Finally, it’s simply an overkill for anything less complicated than a kernel or a whole OS. If you want something simple, just use the build (a.k.a. commit) number or date of the release as a scheme to name your development steps.