Software version numbers are kind of confusing, aren’t they?
Chrome, for example, has crazy version numbers, such as 31.0.1650.63, that mean little or nothing to anyone except its developers.
WordPress version numbers like 3.8 and 3.8.1 carry a more obvious meaning, but they still require some explanation.
Thesis version numbers are similar to WordPress ones, and today, we’ll see precisely how they work and what they mean. This quick overview will provide you with insights you can use to proceed with confidence whenever we push a Thesis update.
Major Version Number
In a Thesis version like 2.1.6 (current at the time of writing), 2 is the major version number.
The major version number signifies game-changing, earth-shattering differences in the underlying platform. For example, Thesis 1 and Thesis 2 are, quite literally, 100% different. This affects your usage—building your site with the new version is an entirely different experience from the older version.
Minor Version Number
Most of the significant Thesis updates are of the minor version variety. Continuing with our example of version 2.1.6, 1 is the minor version number.
Compared to the 2.0 product line, Thesis 2.1 contains important functionality, improved interfaces, enhanced compatibility, and refinements that make it a more useful tool for building high performance websites.
Whenever we issue a minor version release, you can expect it to include new functionality and other improvements that will make your life easier. From our perspective, these are the “fun” updates that people tend to appreciate the most.
Revision updates are an annoying but necessary part of software development, especially on a platform like WordPress, where compatibility is an ongoing concern.
To illustrate, Thesis 2.1.6—where 6 is the revision number—indicates that this is the 6th revision of the 2.1 release.
We only issue revisions to address functionality issues, fix bugs, or ensure compatibility.
For example, we recently released versions 2.1.5 and 2.1.6 in response to WordPress’ 3.8 release, which contained a bug that appeared on category archive pages (and especially when pretty permalinks are enabled).
In both of these versions, we added compatibility code that worked around the problem introduced by WordPress 3.8.
(The problem reared its head in a couple of unexpected places, so that’s why we had a 2.1.6 in addition to a 2.1.5.)
The basic functionality of all the 2.1.x versions is the same, but each revision speaks to improvements and fixes we’ve made over time to ensure your Thesis experience is always a great one.
So, should I update my site?
Yes! If you’re already running Thesis 2, then you should absolutely be running the latest and greatest version you can get your hands on.
It’s always a good idea to run the latest revision you can, as that ensures maximum security and compatibility for your site.
However, if you’re still running a Thesis 1 site, there’s no immediate need to update to the Thesis 2 product line. In this case, I recommend waiting to update until you are ready for a new design; at that point, you’ll be in a perfect position to take advantage of the benefits and improvements Thesis 2 offers.
Finally, if you’ve got any other questions about Thesis or version numbers, I’ll be happy to take them in the comments.
And if you’ve built something awesome with Thesis recently, I want to see it! Leave me a link to your best work in the comments, and I’ll show you off on social media.
About the Author: Chris Pearson, Thesis creator and DIYthemes founder, is obsessed with optimizing the web and making sure every last detail receives the attention it requires. You should follow him on Twitter here.