I'm working at a company that has a strange policy. They can't stick to a single name for a software revision. For some reason they have branches, versions, releases and perhaps another term. They never explain what these mean.

What is the standard way to separate out different revisions to be less confusing?

  • the title could match the question more closely (technically, it is no question). Maybe sth like 'Whats the difference between revision,version,branch,release'? – keppla Jun 10 '11 at 11:46

Why not ask them? And those are all commonly used terms for different things - a release is a revision that makes it to the outside world, a branch is a revision that is being worked on in parallel and a version is (possibly) a revision that someone has tagged with a version number.

  • I have... The ones in positions of authority can't answer the question articulately. The underlings refuse to help coworkers and/or can't answer the question. – Ponk Jun 10 '11 at 11:37
  • Wow I'd be working on my resume in a situation like that. Sounds pretty toxic. – Pointy Jun 10 '11 at 12:58

It is possible, that a revision may also be a branch, a version and a release.

Those terms are sometimes used a little fuzzy, and my use may not be the definitive one. That said, in my nomenclature,

  • a revision is a well definied snapshot of the project
  • a branch is a named set of revisions, developed beside other branches. It is not uncommon to call the lastest revision of that set 'the branch' as well.
  • a version is a revision that has been given a numerical name (i.e., the version number)
  • a release is a version, that was given to the customers, or made public otherwise) (it may also refer to the process of releasing).
  • You mean a revision is merely my checked out copy? – Ponk Jun 10 '11 at 11:39
  • @funderbolt: as i use the term: yes. i kinda use 'a commit' and 'a revision' synonymously. ymmv. – keppla Jun 10 '11 at 11:44
  • @funderbolt actually a revision would be the copy you check back in. – SoylentGray Jun 10 '11 at 11:47
  • I've also used the word "copy" as in "my copy". – Ponk Jun 10 '11 at 11:52

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