Linus Torvalds is back to work after his "break" to meditate on his language in the LKML, after returning to lead the free kernel project, we have now seen that we have Linux 4.19 LTS available that will continue to be maintained with patches and updates for a long period of time. In addition, the programming tasks are already beginning and what will be Linux 4.20 is being forged, in fact you can already download the Linux 4.20 RC1 version at kernel.org.
Furthermore, from that, it seems that this will be the last kernel in the 4.x branch and that in a few months, after the last RCs of this branch 4.20 and the final launch that will take place on 4.20, the 4th will end to welcome 5. Linus Torvalds himself has said in the lists that «we can all count up to 20 […]. It is a nice round number. […] I think Linus 5.0 will be out next year, when we run out of fingers (to keep counting).
It is estimated, if there are no delays in the RCs or problems of some kind that could delay the releases as planned, everything indicates that Linux 4.20 in its final version would be released at the end of December this year, so if it is chosen for starting Linux 5.x, the version Linux 5.0 would arrive in January 2019. You already know that the Linux version numbers do not make much sense and that these types of jumps occur, without following a linear sequence, avoiding too high numbers so as not to complicate the designations.
Gone are also the days when they were used The versions even like the stable ones, like 2.4, 2.6, as you will remember, and for the unstable ones, that is, for those that were in development, the odd versions like 2.3, 2.7, etc., although remember that this changed when after 2.6 it went to versions 3.x, where this rule was no longer followed and RCs are simply used for the candidates in development and the final version for the stable one ...