What is the UX value of having version information, in particular within (solely) command-line programs?
In particular, I'm wondering about actual version information. I've noticed some commands, like
gpg --version, will produce more than "version" information: they also report algorithms supported, etc. This is different than purely "version" information, in my eyes - it's more of "capability" information. I can definitely see the value of capability information.
But from a user perspective, especially a command-line user, is it really relevant? I imagine there isn't a lot of studies done on this, so I'm happy to just hear convincing anecdotal experience. I've heard "conventional wisdom" that command-line programs should implement
-V (or less commonly,
-v, which is instead often short for
--verbose), but unlike the "give me help/usage" options, version information seems to be a lot less useful to have.
Most of the time, I know what version of a program I'm using because I installed it, or it's installed on the system for me and the package information can be queried, e.g.
dpkg -l package-name will tell you the package version number on
apt -based systems, which generally tracks the version of the software itself very closely. And that's if I actually care what version I have - for me that only comes up very, very rarely.
It doesn't really do much harm, I guess, but if the UX impact is negligible, why bother?