openSUSE Leap's Next Major Version Number

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openSUSE Leap's Next Major Version Number

Richard Brown
Hi all,

On behalf of the openSUSE Board and Leap Release Management I am
pleased to announce the next version of openSUSE Leap after 42.3 will
be:

openSUSE Leap 15

As with Leap 42.x, minor releases are expected annually for at least 3
years, so you can expect a Leap 15.1 to follow, then 15.2 and onwards.

Obviously this is quite a dramatic change from the current version
number of 42.x, so I will explain what justifies this change in some
detail below.

First, some history. When we started openSUSE Leap, the version number
was an issue that needed addressing. openSUSE at that time was at
13.2, but SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE) was at 12 and heading towards 12
SP1.

As the main unique selling point of Leap compared to every other
distribution is the fact it is based on SLE sources. We wanted to
reflect that in the version number.
This was particularly important when you consider that a major version
in SLE really means something ("major architectural changes from the
last version are introduced here") whereas minor versions/service
packs have a very different message ("easy to upgrade to, no major
workflow breaking changes"). Leap follows a similar philosophy, so we
wanted a versioning scheme to reflect SLEs.

But openSUSE had already had versions starting with 12, so we couldn't
sync up with SLE. This is where 42.x came from. It gave us the
opportunity to establish a relationship with SLE versions (SLE Version
+ 30 = Leap Version), reflect the major/minor nature of Leap releases,
and avoid clashes with version numbers we'd already used.
The choice of 42 doubled as a humorous nod to hitchhikers guide to the
galaxy and the first version numbers of SuSE Linux and YaST (4.2 and
0.42 respectively).

The plan was therefore for the next version of Leap to be 43 with it's
release aligned with SLE 13, followed by Leap 43.1 (with SLE 13 SP1),
Leap 43.2 (w. SP2), etc

However, like all good plans, things change.

SUSE have decided that their next version of SLE will be 15, not 13.

Upon learning of SUSE's plans the Board and Leap release team have
been considering our options.
This included ignoring the changes to SLE and releasing Leap 43 as
planned, at the cost of the link between SLE versions and Leap
versions.
45 was also considered, as were some frankly hilarious ideas that made
me worry about my own sanity and that of my fellow contributors.

After considering the pros and cons of all the options however, the
decision has been that Leap 15 will be our next version.

SUSE's decision to skip SLE 13 and 14 gave us a perfect opportunity to
sync up with SLE versions like we always wanted to originally with
Leap. It's an opportunity we will not be able to take so easily a few
years from now if we continued with Leaps current versioning.

There are only a few packages in our distribution that reference the
42.x versioning, and they should be easily handled as part of a zypper
dup, so we are not concerned about this decision impacting users
upgrading.

We are aware that this decision could be a minor annoyance for users
of Leap with configuration management tools like saltstack and puppet,
but the long term opportunity to simplify such configuration (by being
able to treat SLE and Leap similarly) outweighed our desire to avoid a
'one-time' effort for people currently handling the overly complicated
situation caused by Leap being at 42.x and SLE being at 12 SPx.

Packagers should be able to look forward to an easier time of things
as a result of this change. We intend to deprecate the
0%{leap_version} macro and simplify the current complex nest of
suse_version and sle_versions that can make it very frustrating to
build packages appropriately for Tumbleweed, Leap and SLE.

0%{suse_version} should continue to be available as a simple indicator
of the major version of Leap & SLE for packagers (eg, 0%{suse_version}
== 1500 is the expected value for SLE 15 and Leap 15 and all of their
minor versions/service packs).

0%{sle_version} should remain as a more precise indicator when
packagers need to handle specific versions of Leap and SLE (eg.
0%{sle_version} == 150000 is the expected value for SLE 15 & Leap 15,
with 150100 being the expected value for SLE 15 SP1 & Leap 15.1)

0%{is_opensuse} will continue for those times when packagers need to
distinguish between Leap and SLE even though they will now more
closely share their versions.

The above examples and what the future suse_version number will be for
Tumbleweed is not yet final, so expect to see emails from ludwig in
[hidden email] when they are set.

Thanks to everyone involved in this so far, I'm looking forward to
seeing what we make out of Leap 15, and even though I cross-posted
this I would like to ask that any followup conversation is kept to the
[hidden email] thread.

Regards,

Richard Brown
on behalf of the openSUSE Board
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