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Communications of the ACM

Kode Vicious

Aversion to Versions

versioning format

Credit: Devopedia

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Dear KV,

Recently I have been trying to piece together a set of software packages that are supposedly intended to work together but seem very fragile. The main source of their fragility comes from how the developers "resolved" the dependencies between packages, libraries, and their own software. Their solution to making all the pieces work together was to encode the version of the library or package into the file system, as in, /opt/pkg-v2.87/lib/…. As you might imagine, this causes no end of trouble for us consuming this software when a library or package is upgraded. I have counted no fewer than 30 locations where this was done. You cannot tell me that this is the right way to handle this particular problem, but these people are paid professionals, and we paid for their software. What would KV do?


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