I read through a bunch of questions asking about simple source code control tools and Git seemed like a reasonable choice. I have it up and running, and it works well so far. One aspect that I like about CVS is the automatic incrementation of a version number.
I understand that this makes less sense in a distributed repository, but as a developer, I want/need something like this. Let me explain why:
I use Emacs. Periodically I go through and look for new versions of the Lisp source files for third-party packages. Say I've got a file, foo.el, which, according to the header, is version 1.3; if I look up the latest version and see it's 1.143 or 2.6 or whatever, I know I'm pretty far behind.
If instead I see a couple of 40-character hashes, I won't know which is later or get any idea of how much later it is. I would absolutely hate it if I had to manually check ChangeLogs just to get an idea of how out of date I am.
As a developer, I want to extend this courtesy, as I see it, to the people that use my output (and maybe I'm kidding myself that anyone is, but let's leave that aside for a moment). I don't want to have to remember to increment the damn number myself every time, or a timestamp or something like that. That's a real PITA, and I know that from experience.
So what alternatives do I have? If I can't get an $Id:$ equivalent, how else can I provide what I'm looking for?
I should mention that my expectation is that the end user will NOT have Git installed and even if they do, will not have a local repository (indeed, I expect not to make it available that way).