[nSLUG] Jigdo File

Ben Armstrong synrg at sanctuary.nslug.ns.ca
Wed Mar 5 10:37:00 AST 2003


On Wed, Mar 05, 2003 at 08:54:21AM -0400, Donald Teed wrote:
> I don't think that is necessary.  I found a jigdo-lite tar with a
> binary for i386 that "worked" under Redhat.  It was called
> jigdo-bin-0.6.9.tar
> 
> I can't believe how many tools we must rely on that are under
> version 1.0.  A version number this low means if this was a car
> it would only be safe to take around the block slowly.

This is a myth.  Version#s are meaningless as an indication of fitness of a
piece of software for a particular use.  Version #s <1.0 usually just mean
that the developer still feels more features should be added to the software
before it meets the developer's own goals for the software.  There is
plenty of rock-solid software at version#s <1.0.  How about grub 0.93, for 
example?  Is this "only safe to take around the block slowly"?  Or mpg321 
0.2.10.1.  Does this make mincemeat of your mp3s?  Or what about 
netkit-inetd?  Shot full of security holes perhaps?  Having a version# less 
than 1.0 had better not mean shoddy quality, or we're in big trouble.

Conversely, look at some popular projects that are way past 1.0.  GNOME? 
KDE?  Mozilla?  Rock-solid and work flawlessly?  I don't think so.  Some
projects are barely usable when they go 1.0, and many continue to have major
issues well beyond 1.0.

So forget about trying to determine whether a piece of software is reliable
based on version#.  The version# is arbitrary, and usually only means
something either to the developer or to marketing folks who like to put spin
on a new release.  Get whizbangomatic version 8.0!  New and improved!  And
nobody plays this game better than software companies who have stakeholders
and the bottom line to worry about.  You probably see many more conservative
(< 1.0) release numbers in volunteer-run free software projects because
developers are *honest* about their estimation of the completeness of the
project.

Ben
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