Don't use version names, use numbers

Quick! Tell me right now which Android version number this is:

And now, quick, tell me which Debian version these are:

And don’t even get me started on Canonical’s choices for Ubuntu:

Even Apple fell victim to this after OS X:

It wasn’t too bad with Windows because: (a) there weren’t too many releases, (b) they were kiiinda numerically ordered, and (c) the names were short and used numbers as the version differentiator.

To those closely involved with the projects, cute version names are fun and make sense. But to someone without such intimate knowledge of the system, it takes a lot of work to memorize what versions correspond to which names.

I’m a pretty hardcore Debian user and supporter – I have it running on a few dozen machines – but I regularly find myself doubting if I’m using Stretch or Buster. By the time I get it memorized, the next version comes out, and I have to start remembering again. (I do approve of the name Sid being used for the unstable version, because it doesn’t change and is thematically-appropriate.)

I think a much more sensible naming scheme goes like this:

No ambiguity. Nothing complex to remember. Easy math to understand differences in releases.

Don’t use version names. Use version numbers.