Friday, September 4, 2009

What happened to version 13?

During the RAD Studio 2010 field test and now out in the Delphi non-tech newsgroups, there had been a lot of discussion, speculation and even some angst about the mysterious lack of version 13. Chill folks. The story is simple with no real conspiracies involved. In fact, the only conspiracy involved was that we knew from the outset that it would spark discussion and conspiracies.

After each product release there is a period of time where the internal developer builds overlap with the released product and the next release. This can cause confusion among the team and phantom errors if a developer build were to ever meet up with a released build. To limit this overlap, we try and bump the version number as early in the next release cycle as possible. The scene went like this:

Rewind to September 24th of 2008. I’m sitting at my desk reading emails, writing emails, surfing the interwebs, waiting for a build to complete, etc… There’s a knock on the door frame of my office (my door is always open). I turn around and Dave Wilhelm is standing there.

“I’m about ready bump the version number.”

“So the next version would be, uh, 13, right?”, I said with a pondering look.

“Yep. And, yes, that’s an interesting number”, Dave said with a wry smirk. A mischievous smile appeared on my face. Dave chuckled. Then he added, “I think we have two choices here. We can defiantly embrace it, or just skip it. What does our release schedule look like next year?”


“If we were to release in October, having a version 13 would be clearly embracing that whole mystique. You know, Halloween, black cats, zombies, ghouls, yadda yadda…”

I chuckled. “That could be a whole sub theme of the release! However, it looks like we’re slated to release about the same time next year. So that won’t work. We should just skip it. I don’t think there is a Friday the 13th around that time either.”

“I’ll ask a few folks on the team if they have any strong opinions one way or another.”

“Yep. Just like many buildings don’t have a floor 13 and go from floor 12 to 14. It will also be a fun trivia question down the road. Besides, I can see the community going into wild, random speculation and conspiracies as to why did they skip 13.”, I said with a slight smirk and a muted chuckle.

“Exactly. I also understand it is mostly a western superstition. It will certainly be fun to watch all the newsgroups get spun up.”

“Well, we live in the west. We are the ones checking in the changes. So I guess we get to decide.”, I commented defiantly.

“Yep. I’ll check with a few folks and get back to you.”, Dave said as he walked off.

About an hour later, there was another knock on my door. Dave was back.

“The comments among the team ranged from, ‘I don’t care one way or another’ to ‘Sure, go ahead and skip 13’”

“Then it’s decided. Bump it to 14, and check it in. Let the wild, random speculation begin. Explaining this conversation in a blog post will also be fun.”

We both let out a slight chortle and then proceeded to get on with our day.

There you have it. It was a largely unilateral decision. Nothing was ever mentioned about it until fairly deep into the field-test cycle and now after the release it seems to have gotten a decent amount of attention. Psych!