Re: Release Note problem

Subject: Re: Release Note problem
From: Elizabeth Ross <beth -at- vcubed -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2000 12:08:51 -0500

On 12/14/00 8:08 AM, Jackie Gishkin wrote:

> I have just started a job as a technical writer in France without having
> any real prior experience. My first project is to write Release Notes
> for the latest build for our "internal software". The problem is that
> the Builds are changing everyday. Recently, I have started to write
> about a new feature only to find out that it had completely changed 2
> days later. I now have to go back and delete what I wrote. I was told
> that I will be printing out the Release Notes once we come across a
> really "good" Build.
> Also, instead of having a few Release Notes floating around for the same
> Version, is there a way to compile them together into one coherent
> document?
> Since I am in a start-up, there haven't been any established ways for
> doing technical documentation.
> Do any of you have some advice to give me? I would apprciate it.

Okay Jackie, you are in a spot.

>From my understanding of release notes, they need to be tied to the build.
Build 1.55 goes with Note 1.55 and the note details the deltas from the
previous build. It should be wordy, just a point-form summary.

Once your company has that really "good" build (read "not enough bugs to
hold it back anymore"), then take your notes document and distill the point
forms into a *new* document that will be released with the build.

I literally cringed in my seat and winced when you said you write things and
then delete them when the product changes. Icky. Bad. Road to Heck. Here be
dragons. <shudder>

I *always* keep such information--it's important to you as the TW and can be
critical in helping determine things like "build 14 fixed issues 2 and 24
but reintroduced issue 10, which appeared in build 5 and was resolved in
build 7."

And that can me the difference between a successful start-up and a
non-successful one.

Good luck!
Elizabeth Ross
Senior Technical Writer, V3 Semiconductor Corp.
mailto: beth -at- vcubed -dot- com
Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum.

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