This is a tool for managing a recorded version number in distutils-based python projects. The goal is to remove the tedious and error-prone "update the embedded version string" step from your release process. Making a new release should be as easy as recording a new tag in your version-control system, and maybe making new tarballs. For released software, the version identifier is closely related to a VCS tag. Some projects use tag names that include more than just the version string (e.g. "myproject-1.2" instead of just "1.2"), in which case the tool needs to strip the tag prefix to extract the version identifier. For unreleased software (between tags), the version identifier should provide enough information to help developers recreate the same tree, while also giving them an idea of roughly how old the tree is (after version 1.2, before version 1.3). Many VCS systems can report a description that captures this, for example git describe --tags --dirty --always reports things like "0.7-1-g574ab98-dirty" to indicate that the checkout is one revision past the 0.7 tag, has a unique revision id of "574ab98", and is "dirty" (it has uncommitted changes.