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Semantic Versioning for Documents 1.2.1


Given a version number MAJOR.MINOR.PATCH, increment the:

  1. MAJOR version when your document has undergone significant changes,
  2. MINOR version when new information has been added to the document or information has been removed from the document, and
  3. PATCH version when you made minor changes (e.g. fixing typos).

Additional labels for pre-release and build metadata are available as extensions to the MAJOR.MINOR.PATCH format.

Semantic Versioning Specification for Documents (SemVerDoc)

The key words “MUST”, “MUST NOT”, “REQUIRED”, “SHALL”, “SHALL NOT”, “SHOULD”, “SHOULD NOT”, “RECOMMENDED”, “MAY”, and “OPTIONAL” in this document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119.

  1. This scheme describes versioning for documents. In accordance with Wikipedia, a document is hereby defined as a written, drawn, presented, or memorialized representation of thought.

  2. A normal version number of each document MUST take the form X.Y.Z where X, Y, and Z are non-negative integers, and MUST NOT contain leading zeroes. X is the major version, Y is the minor version, and Z is the patch version. Each element MUST increase numerically. For instance: 1.9.0 -> 1.10.0 -> 1.11.0.

  3. Once a versioned document has been released, the contents of that version MUST NOT be modified. Any modifications MUST be released as a new version.

  4. Major version zero (0.y.z) is for initial development, brainstorming, and prototyping. Anything MAY change at any time. The document SHOULD NOT be considered stable.

  5. Version 1.0.0 defines a final document. The way in which the version number is incremented after this release is dependent on its changes.

  6. Patch version Z (x.y.Z x > 0) MUST be incremented if only minor bug fixes are introduced. A bug fix is defined as a change that fixes incorrect behavior. A classical example for a bug fix in a document is the correction of a typo or a minor inconsistency.
  7. Minor version Y (x.Y.z x > 0) MUST be incremented if new information is introduced to the document or if information is removed from the document. Changes that lead to an increased minor version should typically be limited to certain areas of the document.
  8. Major version X (X.y.z X > 0) MUST be incremented if the document has encountered significant changes. The definition of significant changes depends on the concrete use case and is beyond the scope of this specification. Typical examples of a significant change include major structural changes to the document and changes that affect wide parts of the document. A major version may also be incremented in order to indicate that a project that a document is part of entered another stage. Patch and minor versions MUST be reset to 0 when major version is incremented.
  9. A pre-release version MAY be denoted by appending a hyphen and a series of dot separated identifiers immediately following the patch version. Identifiers MUST comprise only ASCII alphanumerics and hyphen [0-9A-Za-z-]. Identifiers MUST NOT be empty. Numeric identifiers MUST NOT include leading zeroes. Pre-release versions have a lower precedence than the associated normal version. A pre-release version indicates that the version is unstable and might not satisfy the intended compatibility requirements as denoted by its associated normal version. Examples: 1.0.0-draft, 1.0.0-forReview.1, 1.0.0-0.3.7, 1.0.0-x.7.z.92.

  10. For documents that are automatically generated, build metadata MAY be denoted by appending a plus sign and a series of dot separated identifiers immediately following the patch or pre-release version. Identifiers MUST comprise only ASCII alphanumerics and hyphen [0-9A-Za-z-]. Identifiers MUST NOT be empty. Build metadata MUST be ignored when determining version precedence. Thus two versions that differ only in the build metadata, have the same precedence. Examples: 1.0.0-alpha+001, 1.0.0+20130313144700, 1.0.0-beta+exp.sha.5114f85.

  11. Precedence refers to how versions are compared to each other when ordered.

    1. Precedence MUST be calculated by separating the version into major, minor, patch and pre-release identifiers in that order (Build metadata does not figure into precedence).

    2. Precedence is determined by the first difference when comparing each of these identifiers from left to right as follows: Major, minor, and patch versions are always compared numerically.

      Example: 1.0.0 < 2.0.0 < 2.1.0 < 2.1.1.

    3. When major, minor, and patch are equal, a pre-release version has lower precedence than a normal version:

      Example: 1.0.0-alpha < 1.0.0.

    4. Precedence for two pre-release versions with the same major, minor, and patch version MUST be determined by comparing each dot separated identifier from left to right until a difference is found as follows:

      1. Identifiers consisting of only digits are compared numerically.

      2. Identifiers with letters or hyphens are compared lexically in ASCII sort order.

      3. Numeric identifiers always have lower precedence than non-numeric identifiers.

      4. A larger set of pre-release fields has a higher precedence than a smaller set, if all of the preceding identifiers are equal.

      Example: 1.0.0-alpha < 1.0.0-alpha.1 < 1.0.0-alpha.beta < 1.0.0-beta < 1.0.0-beta.2 < 1.0.0-beta.11 < 1.0.0-rc.1 < 1.0.0.

Backus–Naur Form Grammar for Valid SemVer Versions

<valid semver> ::= <version core>
                 | <version core> "-" <pre-release>
                 | <version core> "+" <build>
                 | <version core> "-" <pre-release> "+" <build>

<version core> ::= <major> "." <minor> "." <patch>

<major> ::= <numeric identifier>

<minor> ::= <numeric identifier>

<patch> ::= <numeric identifier>

<pre-release> ::= <dot-separated pre-release identifiers>

<dot-separated pre-release identifiers> ::= <pre-release identifier>
                                          | <pre-release identifier> "." <dot-separated pre-release identifiers>

<build> ::= <dot-separated build identifiers>

<dot-separated build identifiers> ::= <build identifier>
                                    | <build identifier> "." <dot-separated build identifiers>

<pre-release identifier> ::= <alphanumeric identifier>
                           | <numeric identifier>

<build identifier> ::= <alphanumeric identifier>
                     | <digits>

<alphanumeric identifier> ::= <non-digit>
                            | <non-digit> <identifier characters>
                            | <identifier characters> <non-digit>
                            | <identifier characters> <non-digit> <identifier characters>

<numeric identifier> ::= "0"
                       | <positive digit>
                       | <positive digit> <digits>

<identifier characters> ::= <identifier character>
                          | <identifier character> <identifier characters>

<identifier character> ::= <digit>
                         | <non-digit>

<non-digit> ::= <letter>
              | "-"

<digits> ::= <digit>
           | <digit> <digits>

<digit> ::= "0"
          | <positive digit>

<positive digit> ::= "1" | "2" | "3" | "4" | "5" | "6" | "7" | "8" | "9"

<letter> ::= "A" | "B" | "C" | "D" | "E" | "F" | "G" | "H" | "I" | "J"
           | "K" | "L" | "M" | "N" | "O" | "P" | "Q" | "R" | "S" | "T"
           | "U" | "V" | "W" | "X" | "Y" | "Z" | "a" | "b" | "c" | "d"
           | "e" | "f" | "g" | "h" | "i" | "j" | "k" | "l" | "m" | "n"
           | "o" | "p" | "q" | "r" | "s" | "t" | "u" | "v" | "w" | "x"
           | "y" | "z"


This work is heavily based on the Semantic Versioning specification as authored by Tom Preston-Werner.


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