RAJA Release Version Naming

Prior to the RAJA release in March 2022, the RAJA project used the Semantic Versioning scheme for assigning release tag names. At the March 2022 release, we changed the release naming scheme to use YYYY.mm.pp, for year, month, and patch number. So, for example, the March 2022 release is labeled v2022.03.0.The main motivation for the release naming scheme is to do coordinated releases with the Umpire, CHAI, and camp projects, which are considered parts of the RAJA Portability Suite. In a coordinated release, all the projects will have the same release name. If a project requires a patch release between coordinated releases, it will indicate that by incrementing the patch number; for example, v2022.03.1.

The following sections describe the Semantic Versioning scheme for reference and posterity.

Semantic Versioning

Semantic versioning is a methodology for assigning a version number to a software release in a way that conveys specific meaning about code modifications from version to version. See Semantic Versioning for a more detailed description.

Semantic Version Numbers and Meaning

Semantic versioning is based on a three part version number MM.mm.pp:

  • MM is the major version number. It is incremented when an incompatible API change is made. That is, the API changes in a way that may break code using an earlier release of the software with a smaller major version number.

  • mm is the minor version number. It changes when functionality is added that is backward compatible, such as when the API grows to support new functionality yet the software will function the same as any earlier release of the software with a smaller minor version number when used through the intersection of two different APIs. The minor version number is always changed when the main branch changes, except possibly when the major version is changed; for example going from v1.0.0 to v2.0.0.

  • pp is the patch version number. It changes when a bug fix is made that is backward compatible. That is, such a bug fix is an internal implementation change that fixes incorrect behavior. The patch version number is always changed when a hotfix branch is merged into main, or when changes are made to main that only contain bug fixes.

What Does a Change in Semantic Version Number Mean?

A key consideration in meaning for these three version numbers is that the software has a public API. Changes to the API or code functionality are communicated by the way the version number is incremented from release to release. Some important conventions followed when using semantic versioning are:

  • Once a version of the software is released, the contents of the release must not change. If the software is modified, it must be released with a new version.

  • A major version number of zero (i.e., 0.mm.pp) is considered initial development where anything may change. The API is not considered stable.

  • Version 1.0.0 defines the first stable public API. Version number increments beyond this point depend on how the public API changes.

  • When the software is changed so that any API functionality becomes deprecated, the minor version number must be incremented, unless the major version number changes.

  • A pre-release version may be indicated by appending a hyphen and a series of dot-separated identifiers after the patch version. For example, 1.0.1-alpha, 1.0.1-alpha.1, 1.0.2-0.2.5.

  • Versions are compared using precedence that is calculated by separating major, minor, patch, and pre-release identifiers in that order. Major, minor, and patch numbers are compared numerically from left to right. For example, 1.0.0 < 2.0.0 < 2.1.0 < 2.1.1. When major, minor, and patch numbers are equal, a pre-release version number has lower precedence than none. For example, 1.0.0-alpha < 1.0.0.

By following these conventions, it is fairly easy to communicate intent of version changes to users and it should be straightforward for users to manage dependencies on RAJA.