9

Super User has a tag. (There is also a tag, which is much less used and maybe not necessary)

I was a little surprised at first when I saw it, since it's a programming language. It does seem to attract some off-topic questions, but that's not what my question is about. When I looked at the tag wiki, I noticed the excerpt says:

The current version is 5.3.3, released on July 22, 2010.

PHP isn't on hiatus or anything, there have been plenty of new versions since 2010. According to php.net, the current version is 5.6.12, and PHP 7 is in its third beta.

I was going to edit it but then I realized that if I just update the version number, it will have to be changed again soon. I don't spend as much time here on Super User as I do on Stack Overflow, so I'm not sure what the consensus on version numbers in tag wikis is around here, and I couldn't find anything in the help center or on meta.

Should the version number simply be updated?

The current version is 5.6.12, released on August 6, 2015.

That will need to be updated every month when a new bugfix update comes out.

Should it be changed to include just the major version number?

The current major version is PHP 5.

That's practically meaningless because PHP 5 came out a long time ago and each "minor" version number since then has included significant changes.

Should it be changed to include the major and minor version number?

The current version is PHP 5.6.x.

That will need to be updated less often, but it will still need to be updated soon when PHP 7 comes out.

Should it mention PHP 7?

The current version is PHP 5.6.x, and PHP 7 is currently in beta.

or

The current PHP 5 version is 5.6.x, and the current PHP 7 version is Beta 3.

Or should it not mention the version at all? That leaves the wiki excerpt as just one sentence, but maybe that's OK.

Edit: The Stack Overflow equivalent of this tag does not mention the version number, for what it's worth.

  • Why not just add a link to Wikipedia? – Pacerier Aug 24 '15 at 11:54
  • @Pacerier For that matter, why not a link to php.net? I don't know what the usual practice with respect to external links is. – Josiah Keller Aug 24 '15 at 12:39
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I don't think version numbers are helpful in any shape or form in our tag wiki.

If someone wants to know what the latest version of a software is, the Super User tag wiki is not the right place to learn it.

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    This is what I was thinking as well. I submitted a suggested edit that just removes the version info, although maybe the wiki can still be improved in other ways. – Josiah Keller Aug 12 '15 at 14:05
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    Versions are needed tho for some software types. Say Microsoft Excel. There is a big different between 2007 to 2013. – Unfundednut Aug 13 '15 at 4:01
  • @MrStatic However, there we have microsoft-excel-2007 and microsoft-excel-2013 tags. – a CVn Aug 13 '15 at 9:03
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    @MrStatic: The major version of certain software products can be relevant. Which is why they are included in the tag itself (as Michael pointed out). The question is about the tag wiki, which has far lower visibility. – Der Hochstapler Aug 13 '15 at 9:07
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    @MrStatic Right, I'm not questioning the value of having different tags to distinguish between major versions. When PHP 7 comes out, maybe it'll make sense to have a [php5] and a [php7], although since the differences between PHP versions are usually differences in the language itself, that distinction might not matter for Super User's purposes. Like I said, though, in this specific case, saying "PHP 5" doesn't mean much since PHP 5.6 has seen lots of changes since 5.0. – Josiah Keller Aug 13 '15 at 12:15

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