Extensions are often improved over time. That is, publishers want to ship new versions of the same extension with added functionality and/or bug fixes. Adding extension versions allows publishers to ship new versions, and allows OpenOffice.org to detect and handle the case that an extension installed by the user is an update of an existing extension.
Technically, an extension version v is defined as an infinite sequence of non-negative integers v = ‹v0, v1, ...› where all but a finite number of elements have the value zero. A total order is defined on versions via lexicographical comparison. A textual representation of a version v = ‹v0, v1, ...› is a finite string built from the BNF
version ::= [element (“.” element)*] element ::= (“0” | “1” | “2” | “3” | “4” | “5” | “6” | “7” | “8” | “9”)+
of n ≥ 0 elements where each element is a decimal representation of vi for 0 ≤ i < n, and each vi = 0 for i ≥ n.
The extension version is obtained from the description.xml contained in the extension. If the extension does not specify such an explicit version, then an implict textual version representation of the empty string (representing a version of all zeroes) is assumed.
No general semantics are prescribed to versions, other than the total order which determines whether one version is less than, equal to, or greater than another version, respectively. However, extension publishers are encouraged to use the widely accepted three-level scheme of major (incompatible changes), minor (compatible changes), micro (bug fixes) where applicable.
As of OOo 3.3 providing a version is necessary for bundled and shared extensions (see Processing Extensions).
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