In his MySQL Conference Roundup post, Russell confessed his confusion about how MySQL versions are numbered and developed:
I was actually disappointed to hear that 4.1 won't be going beta until next month and won't be in production until Q4!!! I was told it was going to be production *a lot* sooner (as in this week). Urgh. As I'm using the spatial indexing stuff, and it'd be nice if it was more solid. And what about 5.0? I thought 4.1 was going to become 5.0 when launched? I'm confused.
Heh. It is confusing, especially since different projects do it differently (Linux kernel, Apache, etc). The good news is that MySQL is fairly easy to understand.
There are always at least three versions (or categories of versions) to know about. Let's give them names and rough descriptions that match the way I think about it.
- legacy: these versions are no longer actively developed. If you find a bug, you're usually told to upgrade to stable. Major security flaws, however, generally seem to be fixed. Today this is the 3.23.xx series.
- stable: the stable series is safe for use in production. Bugs are actively fixed and new versions appear a few times per year. Today this is the 4.0.xx series.
- development: this is where all the new stuff happens. The code may or may not be safe for production use at any given time and may or may not exist as alpha or beta releases as they reach major milestones and need testing. Today this is both 4.1.xx and 5.0.xx
That last bit is where the confusion comes from. The 4.1.xx series is likely to go beta in a month or two (I'd guess). It's where you're going to find spatial (2-D) indexing, subqueries, multiple character set support, prepared statements, and lots of other goodies. The 5.0.xx series is going to take longer--just as you'd expect. It's where the work for stored procedures is going on.
So 4.1 will not become 5.0 when launched, but 5.0 will certainly inherit all of 4.1's features.
It's also worth checking the relevant section of the MySQL manual to get their take on all this.
Oh, he also heavily pimps High Performance MySQL in that post too. Thanks, Russ!
Posted by jzawodn at April 21, 2004 08:29 PM