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[RFE] Please add a standard ref object to releases




Hi,

git makes no provision for versioned release references.

However, software projects need versioned releases. Software project
integrators need versionned releases. Security auditors need versioned
release. Software project users need versioned releases.

Versioned releases are not the same thing as free-form tags. They have
semantics to allow deducing upgrade paths (usually, a form of semver).
They imply some form of API stability promise. They imply release
documentation completion. They're not just a random point in the project
history like tags are.

This is why most git hosting sites provide a way to select versioned
releases, even if it's not a native git concept. And this way is clearly
separate and distinct from git tag selection.

Unfortunately, since git makes no provision for versioned release
references, git hosting sites have to shove release refs into tag refs.
And it's a huge mess.

Some put release ids in tags as-is, others add a v prefix, others a
version_ prefix, it's all hoster-specific, it's all inconsistent. It
ends up being inconsistent within projects, as they migrate from a
hoster to another, are mirrored from one hoster to another. It depends
on the habits of the person cutting a release, and the release manager
of a project can change over time. It ends up being inconsistent in
release archives, as the version munging can percolate in the archive
name and structure, or not, for mysterious heuristic reasons that change
over time.

As a result, when assembling a project that uses other git repositories,
you spend more time checking repository by repository and version by
version how the version ref was mangled in a tag ref for this specific
(repo,version,date) tuple, than doing actual software dev and QA work.

Please add a specific release reference to git, so software projects
that do versioned releases can use this ref object directly, without
needing to invent custom version rewriting rules to shove them in tags
while marking they are not just tags but release references.

Regards,


-- 
Nicolas Mailhot