We are an outsourcing company. We develop firmware and software for our client. They have a hardware engineer team with whom we, firmware developers, work.
Our client has a strictly defined process to release a firmware. A change in firmware version number has a big impact in that process. When we release a firmware to them for testing, the hardware engineers test it first. Then another SQA test it. Finally, the product is released to customers.
Sometimes, when the change is minor in a new release, our client insist to keep the version number same as the last one. Say, latest release from developers (not released to the customers) had version number 10. Then we found a place for optimization. Or may be slightly change in behavior of the firmware in a very special case which may or may not be visible from outside. When we propose them that we found these places for minor improvements, they insist us to do the changes but keep the version number 10.
We insist that every firmware we release must have distinct version number. We pointed out several common pitfalls if we don't change the firmware version number with every release. They say that they understand why it is necessary. Yet they force us to keep the version number same. Keeping the version number same will help their strictly defined process of releasing firmware to customer end.
We manage the code in our own repository (SVN). We strictly tie a given version number to a given revision number. The version number is stored in the EEPROM of the product our client release. There is defined 2 bytes where the version number is stored. The PC software that reads version number always reads the 2 bytes and display the version number in PC monitor. There is no other way to define version number. They won't change the software that read version number and they won't allocate more memory to introduce another version number that developers can only use.
I'm about to change a firmware and release with the modifications today. I've got another request to keep version number same as previous one. I want to email several unbeatable arguments again what problems we might face if we keep the version number same as previous release.
How can I convince my client not to use same version number?