[ACCEPTED]-Patch vs. Upgrade-patch

Accepted answer
Score: 11

With respect to software versioning (especially 28 semantic versioning), patching will upgrade a software's patch 27 version number, and updates upgrade their 26 minor version number. For applications 25 that follow semantic versioning (in MAJOR.MINOR.PATCH format), a 24 patch is defined as:

increment the [...] PATCH 23 version when you make backwards-compatible 22 bug fixes.

In most cases, patches update 21 the third number, the maintenance version. Updates 20 update the minor version number. Furthermore, patches 19 usually fix problems while maintaining compatibility, whereas 18 updates can both fix problems as well as 17 add new features which may not be compatible with previous versions. One may additionally 16 append a build or revision number past the 15 patch number:

MAJOR.MINOR.PATCH    or    MAJOR.MINOR.PATCH.BUILD

So a version number 2.1.3.089 14 is the second major version, first minor 13 revision (so there has been one major update), third 12 maintenance build (so three patches since 11 version 2.1.0.X was released), and build 10 089 (no significance to builds/patches, can 9 be thought of as additional metadata specifying 8 a unique version ID/number).

The Wikipedia article on software 7 versioning is an interesting read. The 6 reason I specify the M.M.M.B style is that 5 it is commonly used in Visual Studio during 4 application development.

In some cases, however, the 3 last number (build) is omitted - for end 2 users, rarely is this ever needed. It's 1 mostly for development purposes only.

Score: 8

A patch is generally something that is pushed 4 out to fix a critical error or issue or 3 security issue. Updates or releases are 2 probably more along the lines of additional 1 functionality and features to the software.

Score: 6

I don't think there's any "standard definition" although 6 the generally accepted definition is that 5 a patch fixes bugs and an upgrade introduces 4 new features.

It would really depend on how 3 the people who wrote your specification 2 defined patches vs. upgrades, not on how 1 I or anyone else defines it.

Score: 1

For me the biggest thing is what drives 5 the issue.

A patch is usually to fix a problem 4 and therefore requested from a user.

An upgrade 3 is usually to add new functionality and 2 although sometimes driven by users are more 1 often started internally.

Score: 0

There is also a great lot of marketing involved.

I'm 3 not wiling to pay for a patch while I might 2 pay for an update (I'm looking at you OSX 1 users).

Score: 0

If the spec doesn't define patch or upgrade, then 5 you get to draw the line wherever you like 4 (and think you can get away with). Assuming 3 you don't want to go back to the spec writer 2 for guidance, I'd draw the line between 1 'bug fix' and 'new feature'.

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