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Version Numbering and Upgrading

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Version Numbering and Upgrading

Post Posted: Tue Sep 06, 2005 11:35 am

This article explains the conventions I use to determine version numbers for my modules and how to upgrade from one version to another. These notes apply to all my modules.

A version number consists of three components:-

major . minor . build

These are explained in more detail as follows:-


The major version number indicates a version that is substantially different from other major versions. Typically the major version number will be incremented when significant changes are made to a module. For example, mComp version 2.x.x was almost a complete re-write of version 1.x.x and contains more than twice the amount of code, hence the major version number change as it's effectively a different product.


The minor version number is incremented when smaller changes are made that are more enhancements of the software rather than radical changes. However in the case of the DragonFly CMS there is a practical reason for incrementing the minor version number if the changes require alterations to the table structures that the module uses.

DragonFly has an upgrade feature that works by comparing version numbers. By incrementing the version number I can instigate a DragonFly upgrade process. However, I may need to do this for much more trivial reasons than a major version change and so use the minor version number to achieve this. Using mComp again as an example, version 2.1 is only very slightly different from version 2.0, but v2.1 required a database alteration. So incrementing the minor version enabled me to add an upgrade routine to alter the table concerned without having to go to a major version change, which the changes made didn't warrant.


The build number is incremented whenever I make changes to the software that result in uploading a new package to the website for users to download. Build changes may be very minor, and are often only bug fixes. However minor new features, that don't require an upgrade program to implement, can be made this way also.


Upgrading from one build to another is simply a case of uploading the new files to your website. Upgrading from one major or minor version requires running an upgrade routine. How you do this depends on what CMS you're using.

For PHP-Nuke do this:-
  • Log in as Admin
  • Run the program:-


    obviously replacing "www.yoursite.com" with your site's address and "Module" with the name of the module.

For DragonFly do this:-

  • Log in as Admin
  • Go to the Modules section of the Admin Panel
  • Select the edit link next to the module listing
  • Click the Upgrade to x.x link shown in the module details

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