Version control for technical specifications?

Subject: Version control for technical specifications?
From: Krista Van Laan <KVanlaan -at- verisign -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 6 Mar 2001 15:26:49 -0800

Does anyone manage versions of technical specifications?
We are kicking around ideas about how to manage changes
to technical specs. There are two opposing teams here --
one thinks that there should be a separate change request
document and a person responsible for merging all changes into the
document at the end of some given period. The problem with
this seems to be that there could be a big time lag between
the change to the code and the time when the actual change is
made in the documentation.

The other side thinks that whoever changes the code should
at the same time change the specification document, checking
out the document, and adding a comment about what change they
made. The comment could go into the version control system
and/or into a summary of changes at the beginning of each doc.
One problem here is that people probably will neglect to put
in their comments.

Research I've done indicates that the second method might be
more common, but I may be overlooking something. I'd appreciate
hearing from people who might have some advice on the best
way to manage this.



Krista Van Laan
Documentation Manager
VeriSign, Inc.
1350 Charleston Road Mountain View, CA 94043
tel: (650) 429-5158 fax: (650) 961-7300


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