A Guide To Software Revisions
v1.0 / 03 jan 96 / gvg
Once you start playing with software you quickly become aware that each
software package has a revision code attached to it. It is obvious that
this revision code gives the sequence of changes to the product, but in
reality there's substantially more information available through the rev
code than that. This article provides a guide for interpreting the meaning
of the revision codes and what they actually signify.
Also known as "one point uh-oh", or "barely out of beta". We had to release
because the lab guys had reached a point of exhaustion and the marketing
guys were in a cold sweat of terror. We're praying that you'll find it more
functional than, say, a computer virus and that its operation has some
resemblance to that specified in the marketing copy.
We fixed all the killer bugs ...
Uh, we introduced a few new bugs fixing the killer bugs and so we had to
fix them, too.
We did the product we really wanted to do to begin with. Mind you, it's
really not what the customer needs yet, but we're working on it.
Well, not surprisingly, we broke some things in making major changes so we
had to fix them. But we did a really good job of testing this time, so we
don't think we introduced any new bugs while we were fixing these bugs.
Uh, sorry, one slipped through. One lousy typo error and you won't believe
how much trouble it caused!
Some anal-retentive pain in the ass found a deep-seated bug that's been
there since 1.0 and has been raising hell until we fixed it.
Hey, we finally think we've got it right! Most of the customers are really
happy with this.
Of course we did break a few little things.
More features. It's doubled in size now, by the way, and you'll need to get
memory and a faster processor ...
Just one or two bugs this time. Honest.
We really need to go on to a new product but we have an installed base out
there to protect. We're cutting the staffing after this.
We had to fix a few things we broke in 5.0. Not very many, but it's been so
long since we looked at this thing we might as well call it a major
upgrade. Oh, yeah, we added a few flashy cosmetic features so we could
justify the major upgrade number.
Since I'm leaving the company and I'm the last guy left in the lab who
works on the product, I wanted to make sure that all the changes I've made
are incorporated before I go. I added some cute demos, too, since I was
getting pretty bored back here in my dark little corner (I kept complaining
about the lighting but they wouldn't do anything). They're talking about
obsolescence planning but they'll try to keep selling it for as long as
there's a buck or two to be made. I'm leaving the bits in as good a shape
as I can in case somebody has to tweak them, but it'll be sheer luck if no
one loses them.