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

> 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 -

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