[gmx-developers] numbering of next GROMACS release

Mark Abraham mark.j.abraham at gmail.com
Wed Aug 19 13:56:22 CEST 2015


It's time to start discussions about future releases. Several of us think
it would be a good idea to switch to a numbering scheme that reflects what
we're actually doing - releasing the code at a particular point of time.
Ubuntu does this with their 15.04 style numbering (YY.MM) and so does
Visual Studio with "2015" (though they also have a number behind the
scenes). Other projects do as we have done and have a major and minor
number that are bumped whenever people feel like it (e.g. our 4.0,
stillborn 4.1, 4.5, 4.6, 5.0, 5.1). Major.minor is not a great fit for
GROMACS because we're not in the business of promising certain features
before we release. Some packages just have a number and bump it (AMBER),
but that makes it tricky to handle patch releases (I think they just put up
patch files and leave the user to work out how to use it).

In no case does what anybody numbers anything imply anything particular
about the reliability of a release, so this is not a relevant consideration
here. For example, Ubuntu LTS and RHEL promises to maintain for a long time
and not to change stuff, but there's nothing particularly special about the
reliability of such a version when it starts out - they still just picked a
set of packages and tested it a bit.

So the options for a 2016 release are (in most cases, the next patch
release will get a .1 suffix)
a) GROMACS 5.2 (no matter what)
b) GROMACS 5.2 (unless we feel like confusing ourselves by deciding on 6.0
later on)
c) GROMACS 6 (planning 7 next, plus some undecided scheme for numbering
patch releases, but *not* 6.1)
d) GROMACS 6.0 (and probably planning 6.1 next)
e) GROMACS 2016
f) GROMACS 16.06 (and we won't change the month because we aren't going to
let it slip; maybe this lets us consider doing 16.12 also)
g) other?

What do people think? Anyone voting for c) or g) needs to add detail.

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