Currently we are using GeoTools release version 2.7.5. I checked the versioning of GeoTools and found that, there is a stable release version 8.* directly after 2.7.*. Do the new release versions (according to current date 10.4 GeoTools Blog) always mean the up-to-date version or different release versions serve different purpose?
This blog post from 2011 explains the change, basically we dropped the 2 from the version numbers to reflect the actual real world process that was occurring. Currently 10.4 is the latest stable release.
GeoTools jars are versioned as a group with version numbers are based on 3 digits::
Major (first digit), is incremented to indicate that a module has lost full compatibility to earlier versions.
So you can safely upgrade to later versions of a module so long as the major version has not changed.
Minor (second digit) is incremented whenever new features are added.
Modules are forward compatible across minor versions, but usually not backward compatible.
Patch (last digit) is for bug fixes.
It is used to indicate fixes in bugs only. No new features were made and full compatibility is preserved.
GeoTools jars released from trunk are versioned with version number based on 2 digits::
- Milestone is used to mark alpha or beta releases as appropriate (example 8.0-M1)
- Release Candidates are marked 8.0-RC1 and indicate that the branch has been forked off trunk in preparation for final release.