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  4 Copyright (C) 2005, 2006 Joe Walnes.
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 12 Created on 29. January 2005 by Joe Walnes
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 15        <title>XStream - About Versioning</title>
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 38                <h1 class="FirstChild">About Versioning</h1>
 39
 40                
 41
 42    <p>The XStream project follows strict rules that govern its use of version
 43    numbers.  The version number of a release indicates how that release
 44    is compatible with previous and future releases.</p>
 45
 46    <p>Version numbers have the form
 47    <var>major</var>.<var>minor</var>.<var>patch</var>.  A major
 48    version identifies the product stage of the project.  Two libraries with 
 49    different major version are designed to work together in the same 
 50    application.  This implies a major change in the API - either by not 
 51    sharing the same types or using a different package name.</p>
 52    
 53    <p>The minor version number identifies the API version.  A release that
 54    changes the API in a way that breaks backwards compatibility will increment
 55    the minor version number and reset the patch version to zero.  The patch 
 56    version number identifies the backwards compatible revision of the API.  A
 57    change in the minor version will still be mostly backward compatible, but 
 58    may need some compatibility settings or slight migration adjustments.  The
 59    patch version number identifies revisions that do not change the API 
 60    although new API elements may occur or existing API may be deprecated to
 61    prepare users for the next release with a change in the minor version.  A 
 62    release that fixes bugs or refactors implementation details without changing
 63    the API will have the same minor and major versions as the previous release
 64    and increment the patch number.</p>
 65
 66    <p>A hypothetical example:</p>
 67    <table summary="Hypothetical examples for version numbering">
 68      <tr><td>1.0.0</td><td>First release</td></tr>
 69      <tr><td>1.0.1</td><td>Improves Javadoc comments, fixes bug</td></tr>
 70      <tr><td>1.1.0</td><td>Adds new API elements, may cause some migration</td></tr>
 71      <tr><td>1.1.1</td><td>Adds new API elements, deprecates some API elements</td></tr>
 72      <tr><td>1.1.2</td><td>Fixes bugs</td></tr>
 73      <tr><td>1.2.0</td><td>Adds new API, needs some migration effort and removes deprecated elements</td></tr>
 74      <tr><td>2.0.0</td><td>Complete API redesign, can be used simultanly with 1.x series.</td></tr>
 75      <tr><td>2.0.1</td><td>Deprecates API, fixes bugs</td></tr>
 76      <tr><td>2.1.0</td><td>Adds new API elements</td></tr>
 77      <tr><td>etc.</td><td>etc.</td></tr>
 78    </table>
 79
 80    <h2 id="rc">Release Candidates</h2>
 81
 82    <p>Before a new major or minor release, XStream will make release
 83    candidate (RC) packages available so that users can test them against
 84    their own code.  There will be one or more release candidates given the
 85    version <var>major</var>.<var>minor</var>.0 RC<var>n</var>, where the
 86    major and minor version numbers identify the upcoming release and RC1
 87    identifies the first candidate release, RC2 the second, and so on.</p>
 88
 89    <p>A release candidate does not guarantee backward compatibility with
 90    new API features introduced by any previous RC of the same upcoming
 91    version.
 92    A major version RC can change/remove API features introduced in a
 93    previous RC for the same major version;  a minor version RC can change
 94    API features introduced by any previous RC of the same upcoming minor
 95    version but guarantees backward compatibility with the previous minor
 96    version.</p>
 97
 98    <h2 id="snapshots">Development Snapshots</h2>
 99
100    <p>During development, the the developers may publish snapshot packages
101    from time to time.  These are not guaranteed to be complete:
102    Although the unit tests will all pass the snapshot will probably contain
103    failing acceptance tests that describe planned or requested features that
104    have not yet been implemented.  Snapshots are identified by the UTC time
105    at which the package was built.  The timestamp has the form 
106    <var>VERSION-YYYYMMDD.hhmmss-n</var>, where VERSION is the upcoming
107    version, YYYY is the (four-digit) year, MM the month, DD the day, hh the
108    hour, mm the minute, ss the second and n a sequential number.</p>
109
110    <h2 id="internal">Internal Classes</h2>
111
112    <p>Many classes are for internal use only and not designed to be used by
113    end users. These are exempt from the versioning rules above.</p>
114
115    <p>Such classes are clearly marked as internal in the source code
116    headers and are excluded from the published JavaDoc.</p>
117
118    <h2 id="versioning">Versioning and Deprecation</h2>
119
120    <p>A patch release might deprecate some API features.  Deprecated features
121    will not actually be removed until the next minor release.
122    A release will never remove API features that have not been deprecated in
123    a previous release.
124    </p>
125
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