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  1. MAJOR version when significant new science capabilities are added and old ones possibly deleted.
  2. MINOR version when E3SM adds minor new science functionality in a backwards-compatible manner, and
  3. PATCH version when E3SM makes backwards-compatible bug fixes that do not change answers for supported cases.

alpha, beta, rc 

Prior to a vX.0 (X >1), E3SM may add alpha, beta and rc lables to versions as follows:


rc = release candidate.  Near-final version. Checked for documentation, portability.  The first rc tag is made after the coupled simulation group determines beta testing is finished AND after a code freeze.  Typically, the "rc" versions and released versions are nearly identical.  We don't always use "rc" tags and will go from beta to a regular release tag.

Tag sequence before v1.0 may look like: v0.1, v0.2, .... v0.14, v0.15.....v1.0.0-alpha.1, v1.0.0-alpha.2, ...., v1.0.0-beta.1,  v1.0.0-beta.2, ..., v1.0.0-rc.1,v1.0.0-rc.2, ...., v1.0.0