What does v1.0.3-beta.4 mean? A Code Lover’s Guide to Semantic Versioning 🧩

Major, Minor, Patch: Unraveling the Mysteries of Semantic Versioning

Quentin Gallouédec
5 min readAug 24, 2023
Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

😃 Introduction to Semantic Versioning 😃

Imagine you’ve just built a revolutionary software 🎉. It’s sleek, powerful, and ready to change the way people interact with technology. But now comes the challenge: how do you convey all the updates, enhancements, and fixes that make your software even better? You’ve likely seen terms like “major release,” “minor update,” “beta”, or mysterious numbers like v1.0.3b4, but what do they mean? How do they tell your software's evolving story? And most importantly, how to choose the version of your software? In this guide, we'll unlock the secrets behind these terms, turning them from confusing jargon into a clear language that communicates the life of your software. Let's dive in!

🚀 Understanding the Version Numbers 🚀

Semantic Versioning or SemVer, is probably the most common format. The semantic version is constructed as follows: Major.Minor.Patch

  • Major: This is the big stuff! Major changes include significant alterations that may affect how the software works, like a complete redesign or new functionality…