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Explained: Puppy Version Numbers
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Joined: 24 May 2009
Posts: 56

PostPosted: Wed 12 Aug 2009, 13:38    Post subject:  Explained: Puppy Version Numbers  

Explained: Puppy Version Numbers

Did you ever wonder what differentiates Puppy Series 2.x from 3.x, etc. Is Woof the same as ver 5.xx? I posted these question to one of the Puppy forums. I received two very informative responses, and rather than simply providing links to the information I'll copy the information to this post.

Lobster pointed me to Barry Kauler's blog. Barry's original blog post from July 13, 2009 is reproduced here, but for additional info make sure to read the Q&A at the bottom of the blog page.

Puppy version numbers
There was a comment to this blog yesterday that the releases and version numbers of Puppy have become confusing. Yes, if you are "in there" following all the development then you would likely know what is going on, but otherwise you might see it all as a bit strange -- like, why am I releasing version 416, wasn't the last official release 421 (4.21 or 4.2.1)?

This needs to be clarified on puppylinux.com and elsewhere, that I intend to do. For now though, a brief clarification...

Version numbering
Puppy uses three digits for version numbering. Actually, the decimal points are irrelevant. So, 421, 4.21 and 4.2.1 mean the same thing. We do assign significance to the first digit: it represents a particular "series" of Puppy, that is a particular software base or core.

2.x series
This was originally compiled from source in T2, back in 2006. The last official release in this series was 2.17.1, but there were other branches by Dougal and more recently by ttuuxxx. So, this series is still alive and used by people. Why use it? -- some people with old hardware find the older Linux kernel works for them. They may also like the particular applications, features and smaller size of the 2-series.

3.x series
This series was based on Slackware 12.2 packages. It is also continuing to be used by some people who like the Slackware compatibility. MU has continued a branch of this series.

4.x series
This was compiled in T2 in November 2007. The last official release from me was 412, and WhoDo coordinated 420 and 421. So 421 is the most recent.
I have stepped back in temporarily to develop the next release in this series, mostly because it is now based on Woof (a new system for building puppies from packages from different distros, including earlier puppies) and Woof is evolving and I'm the guy who knows most about Woof.
I am releasing alphas numbered 413, 414, 415, 416 etc., simply for convenience. These are unused version numbers. For the final, it will be numbered 430.

I think that the 4.x series has a lot of life in it, and will continue for the next couple of years, in parallel with upcoming 5.x releases.

5.x series
The Woof build system can put together puppies from packages from almost any distro. Currently the plan is to base 500 on Ubuntu packages, and we are nicknaming this "Upup". I'm working on Upup, or rather I will be when I get 430 out of the way. I have again been using some unused version numbers, 471, 472, etc. -- the last Upup alpha I released was 476.

The 5.x series is wide open, and not limited to Upup. Kirk is developing "Fatdog", based on T2, using our shorthand nickname, that is a "Tpup". Ttuuxx is interested in "Dpup" (Debian). All of these can be official releases in the 5.x series.

...when this is expanded into a web page, it needs some links! Also, I haven't mentioned everybody working on some branch or puplet. The above is just intended to clarify the profusion of version numbers.

Of course, if a newcomer asks which one to download, recommend the last official one, 421. If they want to be a bit more experimental, then by all means grab my 416, etc. Even more adventurous, try 476 etc. Of course, the profusion of choice causes confusion, and it is not going to get better -- even 430 I plan to release in 3 different kernel flavours.
Posted on 13 Jul 2009, 10:28

In a post responding to my questions, Pizzasgood provided the following info.

Pizzasgood wrote:
Fishback wrote:
- What made ver 4.x so different from ver 3.x so as to create a new series?
For 4.x, everything was recompiled from scratch with T2, using a significantly different set of options and versions of base libraries. Also, 3.x was binary compatible with Slackware. 4.x was not. (Not the same as guaranteeing that binaries from Slackware would or would not work in 3.x and 4.x, just impacts the likelihood). Puppy 3.x also supported GTK1 and TK, both of which were dropped in Puppy 4.x. Some of the internal scripts had some major changes too.
Fishback wrote:
- Is WOOF the same as ver 5?
No. Like "Unleashed" before it, Woof is only a build system. It is tool used to create a Puppy (or another distro for that matter). Woof is to Puppy as OpenOffice is to a term paper.
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