it’s mainly because we wanted to tie ourselves to hadoop’s versions back in 2008 to answer this frequently asked question “which hbase should I use with which hadoop?”. So we voted to jump from 0.2 to 0.18, making it easier for not only the users but also for us. That was then.
Now, Hadoop 0.20.0 was released more than a year ago and 0.21 is still a month (or so) away for a RC. We’re then stuck with the issue of staying competitive while waiting for that major release. This is how we ended up putting not only bug fixes but also improvements in 0.20’s minor releases.
Anyways, HBase is now a top-level Apache project and things will change a bit:
With the project now being a TLP and with Hadoop’s API stabilizing, the plan will be to be able to support different major releases while releasing our owns. We will also be able to release bug fixes a lot more often while keeping them lean.
Thanks Jean-Daniel for the clarifications.