A short explanation of semantic versioning

August 10, 2020

Semantic versioning is a way for library authors to communicate to consumers that you’ve released a new version and information about the kind of version you’ve published. I’ve written about this in more depth before, but here’s the gist:

  • If you start at version 1.0.0 and you just published a small change like a bugfix or edited the docs, you want to bump the third number and end up with 1.0.1. That’s referred to as a PATCH.
  • If you start at version 1.0.0 and you added a feature that doesn’t break the ability of existing library consumers to interact with the library, that’s a MINOR change. You’ll bump the second number, and end up with 1.1.0.
  • If you start at version 1.0.0 and change your library’s API so that your consumers need to rewrite their code to continue using your library, that’s a MAJOR change. You’ll need to bump the first number, and you’ll end up with 2.0.0.

When you're installing open-source packages, check the version number. The authors of the component library are trying to communicate details about the package's stability to you.

Hungry for more?

Do you want design systems tips and tricks sent to your inbox?

© 2023 Mae Capozzi