the only thing im worried about is being able to compare to version with each other if they ara string, does anyone have any good php tricks to do this?
could you please update the wiki because the pastebin you provided seems rather complex (i must be stupid lol).
The specs themselves are still the same, old PXML.xml files are still valid. The *ONLY* change in the specification itself is that not only plain numbers are allowed, but also letters (a-z and A-Z) as well as the chars plus ('+') and minus ('-') in addition to the numbers 0-9. There is *no* limit regarding the size of the content in those fields.
Regarding how to compare stuff: IIRC most langs are quite able to do string comparison and should evaluate correctly (meaning '39ff' being evaluated as larger than '39' when directly comparing). In general you can assume that the numbers between version will only change little (hey, the packages do come from the same people!).
In general please do not mix up two things:
1) The spec change for the version number.
2) The stricter requirements for having a PXML.xml evaluated as "correct" following the schema definition. Those should be irrelevant for you as user of PXML.xml files. It is only required to adjust those if the author wants to be able to use the automatic evaluation of the PXML.xml file.