Starting on 0.96.0. HColumnDescriptor.DEFAULT_VERSIONS change to 1 from 3. So a columnfamily will be default have 1 version of data. Currently a user can specifiy the maxVersion during create table time or alter the columnfam later. This feature will add a configuration point in hbase-sit.xml so that an admin can set the default globally.
a small discussion in HBASE-10941 lead to this jira