Version Number

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This article should help to find a correct version number for a software product. A custom track is a software product and should follow the rules, so that all people know what the author mean. The goal is to avoid the RC mixture used by the ct authors.

If a end user gets for example an release candidate (RC) he thing to get a nearly 100% working track and he doesn't expect a buggy alpha with known freezes.


A preview (pre release) is a very early and incomplete copy of the software. It should give some impressions.

  • pre-3
  • preview4
  • v3.pre5


An alpha version has (nearly) all thinks implemented, but is known to have major bugs and much closer to a product than the preview.

  • alpha
  • a4
  • v3.alpha-5


A beta version is nearly ready, has some known minor bugs and works generally as expected. The author(s) give it a away for tests to find more bugs.

  • beta
  • b4
  • v3.beta-5

Release Candidate

A release candidate (RC) is a candidate for the release. The author means, it is ready and bug free (if not, he must declare the known bugs) and give it away for final tests.

RC1 means first release candidate and RC2 second release candidate. Numbers like RC0.9 and RC1.4 are nonsense.

  • RC1
  • rc-2
  • v3.rc2


If the release candidate is stable and well tested, you rename it to "v*". "*" may be nearly anything.

  • v1
  • v1.2
  • v1a
  • v1.12b
  • v00001.02.0003

You can also combine version numbers with preview, alpha, beta or release candidate. You need the if you plan e.g. e beta for version 2.

  • v3.pre-1
  • v12.alpha
  • v2.b3 (b for beta)
  • v5.RC3