Thanks for your input here and in IRC. There were only a few more lines on this topic after you had to leave.
There's likely a reason for vector-version to be formatted the way it is now. Personally, I'm convinced the format will both change and be standardized during the coming release cycle. The result will be the same with or without my input, except that it will take more time with my input. Don't read this as "they won't listen"
Actually, the opposite is true even in this case. Put another way, I'm happy to wait and see what falls out.
The info I need can be gleaned from elsewhere, which is what I'll do. The only item I don't know how to get otherwise is the build date, which I'll have to take from the last "field" of /etc/vector-version.
The issue isn't "solved", but I've marked it as "withdrawn" with the hope that it won't become more of an issue.