2022-01-24 - SemVer with generation version


We follow semantic versioning to label our releases with expectations for its users, when upgrading. At point of writing updating to a new major version includes upgrade options, that portals are likely to still work without any changes and storage implementations can continue working on previous storage structures. There can be a time in the future, where these upgrading options are not applicable anymore or at a certain complexity level, that is above the current upgrade expectations. Can we put this expectation in semver?


Yes, we can. Each semver version part describes a certain expectation regarding the magnitude of changes between two versions. A difference in a version part, that is on the left, has more breaking changes than a difference in a version part that is further on the right. The first number is already allowed to include breaking changes. Increments in the first place are therefore expecting breaks. When we add a number on the left side similar expectations are readable from semver although we do not comply completely with semver anymore. We call this first number "generation" as a follow-up/next generation is allowed to be non-compatible with its ancestors as it evolves.


Releases need to have a rating to explain our expectations like increments in second place is still a major breaking change. Every repository that follows this variance in semver must have an explanation in its README.md file. Related packages should follow this versioning schema to reduce ambiguities.


  • Users have additional release information, which simplifies risk management on planning an upgrade
  • HEPTAconnect is allowed to evolve into HEPTAconnect 2 or 3 while keeping the brand and project name without creating technical ambiguities


  • Users can misread version string
  • Releases need to have additional information