Semantic version numbers such as 3.7.1.

§1. Standard adoption. The Semantic Version Number standard, semver 2.0.0, provides a strict set of rules for the format and meaning of version numbers: see

Prior to the standard most version numbers in computing usage looked like dot-divided runs of non-negative integers: for example, 4, 7.1, and 0.2.3. The standard now requires exactly three: major, minor and patch. It's therefore formally incorrect to have a version 2, or a version 2.3. We will not be so strict on the textual form, which we will allow to be abbreviated. Thus:

Similarly, the absence of a version number (called "null" below) will be understood to mean 0.0.0, but will be distinguished from the explicit choice to number something as 0.0.0.

§2. A complication is that Inform 7 extensions have for many years allowed two forms of version number: either just N, which fits the scheme above, or N/DDDDDD, which does not. This is a format which was chosen for sentimental reasons: IF enthusiasts know it well from the banner text of the Infocom titles of the 1980s. This story file, for instance, was compiled at the time of the Reykjavik summit between Presidents Gorbachev and Reagan:

    Infocom interactive fiction - a mystery story
    Copyright (c) 1986 by Infocom, Inc. All rights reserved.
    Moonmist is a trademark of Infocom, Inc.
    Release number 9 / Serial number 861022

Story file collectors customarily abbreviate this in catalogues to 9/861022.

So we will allow this notation, but will convert N/DDDDDD to N.0.DDDDDD, pushing the six date digits into the minor patch. (See the discussion of the bug report I7-2130, where users curating old extensions recommended this as easier to deal with than N.DDDDDD.) So, then, 9/861022 means 9.0.861022 in semver precedence order.

In all non-textual respects, and in particular on precedence rules, we follow the standard exactly.

§3. In the array below, unspecified numbers are stored as -1. The three components are otherwise required to be non-negative integers.

Semver allows for more elaborate forms: for example 3.1.41-alpha.72.zeta+6Q45 would mean 3.1.41 but with prerelease versioning alpha.72.zeta and build metadata 6Q45. The prerelease_segments list for this would be a list of three texts: alpha, 72, zeta.

define SEMVER_NUMBER_DEPTH 3  major, minor, patch
typedef struct semantic_version_number {
    int version_numbers[SEMVER_NUMBER_DEPTH];
    struct linked_list *prerelease_segments;  of text_stream
    struct text_stream *build_metadata;
} semantic_version_number;

typedef struct semantic_version_number_holder {
    struct semantic_version_number version;
} semantic_version_number_holder;

§4. All invalid strings of numbers — i.e., breaking the above rules — are called "null" versions, and can never be valid as the version of anything. Instead they are used to represent the absence of a version number. (In particular, a string of -1s is null.)

semantic_version_number VersionNumbers::null(void) {
#pragma clang diagnostic push
#pragma clang diagnostic ignored "-Wconditional-uninitialized"
    semantic_version_number V;
    for (int i=0; i<SEMVER_NUMBER_DEPTH; i++) V.version_numbers[i] = -1;
    V.prerelease_segments = NULL;
    V.build_metadata = NULL;
    return V;
#pragma clang diagnostic pop

int VersionNumbers::is_null(semantic_version_number V) {
    for (int i=0, allow=TRUE; i<SEMVER_NUMBER_DEPTH; i++) {
        if (V.version_numbers[i] < -1) return TRUE;  should never happen
        if (V.version_numbers[i] == -1) allow = FALSE;
        else if (allow == FALSE) return TRUE;  should never happen
    if (V.version_numbers[0] < 0) return TRUE;
    return FALSE;

§5. Printing and parsing. Printing is simple enough:

void VersionNumbers::to_text(OUTPUT_STREAM, semantic_version_number V) {
    if (VersionNumbers::is_null(V)) { WRITE("null"); return; }
    for (int i=0; (i<SEMVER_NUMBER_DEPTH) && (V.version_numbers[i] >= 0); i++) {
        if (i>0) WRITE(".");
        WRITE("%d", V.version_numbers[i]);
    if (V.prerelease_segments) {
        int c = 0;
        text_stream *T;
        LOOP_OVER_LINKED_LIST(T, text_stream, V.prerelease_segments) {
            if (c++ == 0) WRITE("-"); else WRITE(".");
            WRITE("%S", T);
    if (V.build_metadata) WRITE("+%S", V.build_metadata);

§6. And this provides for the %v escape, though we must be careful when using this to pass a pointer to the version, not the version itself; variadic macros are not carefully enough type-checked by clang or gcc to catch this sort of slip.

void VersionNumbers::writer(OUTPUT_STREAM, char *format_string, void *vE) {
    semantic_version_number *V = (semantic_version_number *) vE;
    VersionNumbers::to_text(OUT, *V);

§7. Parsing is much more of a slog. The following returns a null version if the text T is in any respect malformed, i.e., if it deviates from the above specification in even the most trivial way. We parse the three parts of a semver version in order: e.g. 3.1.41-alpha.72.zeta+6Q45 the first part is up to the hyphen, the second part between the hyphen and the plus sign, and the third part runs to the end. The second and third parts are optional, but if both are given, they must be in that order.

enum MMP_SEMVERPART from 1
semantic_version_number VersionNumbers::from_text(text_stream *T) {
    semantic_version_number V = VersionNumbers::null();
    int component = 0, val = -1, dots_used = 0, slashes_used = 0, count = 0;
    int part = MMP_SEMVERPART;
        inchar32_t c = Str::get(pos);
        switch (part) {
            case MMP_SEMVERPART:
                if (c == '.') dots_used++;
                if (c == '/') slashes_used++;
                if ((c == '.') || (c == '/') || (c == '-') || (c == '+')) {
                    if (val == -1) return VersionNumbers::null();
                    if (component >= SEMVER_NUMBER_DEPTH) return VersionNumbers::null();
                    V.version_numbers[component] = val;
                    component++; val = -1; count = 0;
                    if (c == '-') part = PRE_SEMVERPART;
                    if (c == '+') part = BM_SEMVERPART;
                } else if (Characters::isdigit(c)) {
                    int digit = (int) (c - '0');
                    if ((val == 0) && (slashes_used == 0))
                        return VersionNumbers::null();
                    if (val < 0) val = digit; else val = 10*val + digit;
                } else return VersionNumbers::null();
            case PRE_SEMVERPART:
                if (c == '.') {
                    Add prerelease content7.1;
                } else if (c == '+') {
                    Add prerelease content7.1; part = BM_SEMVERPART;
                } else {
                    PUT_TO(prerelease, c);
            case BM_SEMVERPART:
                if (V.build_metadata == NULL) V.build_metadata = Str::new();
                PUT_TO(V.build_metadata, c);
    if ((part == PRE_SEMVERPART) && (Str::len(prerelease) > 0)) Add prerelease content7.1;
    if ((dots_used > 0) && (slashes_used > 0)) return VersionNumbers::null();
    if (slashes_used > 0) {
        if (component > 1) return VersionNumbers::null();
        if (count != 6) return VersionNumbers::null();
        V.version_numbers[1] = 0;
        component = 2;
    if (part == MMP_SEMVERPART) {
        if (val == -1) return VersionNumbers::null();
        if (component >= SEMVER_NUMBER_DEPTH) return VersionNumbers::null();
        V.version_numbers[component] = val;
    return V;

§7.1. Add prerelease content7.1 =

    if (Str::len(prerelease) == 0) return VersionNumbers::null();
    if (V.prerelease_segments == NULL) V.prerelease_segments = NEW_LINKED_LIST(text_stream);
    ADD_TO_LINKED_LIST(Str::duplicate(prerelease), text_stream, V.prerelease_segments);

§8. Precedence. The most important part of the semver standard is the rule on which versions take precedence over which others, and we follow it exactly. The following criteria are used in turn: major version; minor version; patch version; the presence or absence of prerelease elements (a prerelease version has lower precedence); the prerelease elements themselves, which must be compared numerically if consisting of digits only, and alphabetically otherwise; and finally the number of prerelease elements. Build metadata is disregarded entirely.

int VersionNumbers::le(semantic_version_number V1, semantic_version_number V2) {
    for (int i=0; i<SEMVER_NUMBER_DEPTH; i++) {
        int N1 = VersionNumbers::floor(V1.version_numbers[i]);
        int N2 = VersionNumbers::floor(V2.version_numbers[i]);
        if (N1 > N2) return FALSE;
        if (N1 < N2) return TRUE;
    linked_list_item *I1 = (V1.prerelease_segments)?(LinkedLists::first(V1.prerelease_segments)):NULL;
    linked_list_item *I2 = (V2.prerelease_segments)?(LinkedLists::first(V2.prerelease_segments)):NULL;
    if ((I1 == NULL) && (I2)) return FALSE;
    if ((I1) && (I2 == NULL)) return TRUE;
    do {
        text_stream *T1 = (text_stream *) LinkedLists::content(I1);
        text_stream *T2 = (text_stream *) LinkedLists::content(I2);
        int N1 = VersionNumbers::strict_atoi(T1);
        int N2 = VersionNumbers::strict_atoi(T2);
        if ((N1 >= 0) && (N2 >= 0)) {
            if (N1 < N2) return TRUE;
            if (N1 > N2) return FALSE;
        } else {
            if (Str::ne(T1, T2)) {
                int c = Str::cmp(T1, T2);
                if (c < 0) return TRUE;
                if (c > 0) return FALSE;
        I1 = LinkedLists::next(I1);
        I2 = LinkedLists::next(I2);
    } while ((I1) && (I2));
    if ((I1 == NULL) && (I2)) return TRUE;
    if ((I1) && (I2 == NULL)) return FALSE;
    return TRUE;

§9. The effect of this is to read unspecified versions of major, minor or patch as if they were 0:

int VersionNumbers::floor(int N) {
    if (N < 0) return 0;
    return N;

§10. This returns a non-negative integer if T contains only digits, and -1 otherwise. If the value has more than about 10 digits, then the result will not be meaningful, which I think is a technical violation of the standard.

int VersionNumbers::strict_atoi(text_stream *T) {
        if (Characters::isdigit(Str::get(pos)) == FALSE)
            return -1;
    inchar32_t c = Str::get_first_char(T);
    if ((c == '0') && (Str::len(T) > 1)) return -1;
    return Str::atoi(T, 0);

§11. Trichotomy. We now use the above function to construct ordering relations on semvers. These are trichotomous, that is, for each pair V1, V2, exactly one of the VersionNumbers::eq(V1, V2), VersionNumbers::gt(V1, V2), VersionNumbers::lt(V1, V2) is true.

int VersionNumbers::eq(semantic_version_number V1, semantic_version_number V2) {
    if ((VersionNumbers::le(V1, V2)) && (VersionNumbers::le(V2, V1)))
        return TRUE;
    return FALSE;

int VersionNumbers::ne(semantic_version_number V1, semantic_version_number V2) {
    return (VersionNumbers::eq(V1, V2))?FALSE:TRUE;

int VersionNumbers::gt(semantic_version_number V1, semantic_version_number V2) {
    return (VersionNumbers::le(V1, V2))?FALSE:TRUE;

int VersionNumbers::ge(semantic_version_number V1, semantic_version_number V2) {
    return VersionNumbers::le(V2, V1);

int VersionNumbers::lt(semantic_version_number V1, semantic_version_number V2) {
    return (VersionNumbers::ge(V1, V2))?FALSE:TRUE;

§12. And the following can be used for sorting, following the strcmp convention.

int VersionNumbers::cmp(semantic_version_number V1, semantic_version_number V2) {
    if (VersionNumbers::eq(V1, V2)) return 0;
    if (VersionNumbers::gt(V1, V2)) return 1;
    return -1;