Re: document revision history

Subject: Re: document revision history
From: Tom Murrell <trmurrell -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 11 Jan 2001 13:10:41 -0800 (PST)

We use a rather ad hoc document revision history approach, as we don't
have document management software or an audience of customers to
deliver the documentation to.

--- Mike <techmail_mike -at- yahoo -dot- com> wrote:
> Just wondering how many of you use a document revision
> history in your documents; and, if so, which edits do
> you place in the history? Major changes in content?
> Minor changes (a few words) in content? Changes in
> the template or other non-content items (page numbers,
> margins, and so on)?

If it's a few typos or minor art corrections for errors, depending on
how many, it might get a point raise (from 1.0 to 1.1). If there are a
lot of edits, definitely a point raise. I'll change the ordinal (say
from 1.4 to 2.0) for a phase 2 or a project or a major change to the
product being documented (major addition of features, that sort of
thing).

>
> Also, when do you decide when a new version of a
> document has been completed? In other words, at what
> point would you go from 3 to 3.1, or 3.1 to 3.1.5?

When it has to ship, it has been completed. If I have to give somebody
an updated copy, say because I couldn't get everything done in time
because of changes in the product at the last minute, they get a point
revision that suggests that additional information became available
after the fact.

The other time I change the version, either point or ordinal, is when I
think enough stuff has changed over time to warrant it.

I'll concede that it's a very ad hoc system, subject to my whims, but
in the absence of a need for anything better, It works for me, and I
don't have to obsess about it. Just slap something on there and move on
(unless, of course, you have clients or customers who expect something
more rigorous).

=====
Tom Murrell
Lead Technical Writer
Alliance Data Systems
Columbus, Ohio
mailto:trmurrell -at- yahoo -dot- com
Personal Web Page - http://home.columbus.rr.com/murrell/

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