Re: determining document version

Subject: Re: determining document version
From: Chantel Brathwaite <cnbrath -at- cbel -dot- cit -dot- nih -dot- gov>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2001 12:19:52 -0500

Mike wrote:

> Did some searching for this topic in the archives, but
> didn't come up with anything. At which point do you
> determine that your document has moved to a different
> version? For example, when do you go from 3.3 to 3.4,
> or from 3.3 to 4.0? Is there a set of standards that
> has been published somewhere?

Chantel writes:

I'm not sure if there is a standard (someone will probably come forward if there
is one), but I'll share a method that seems to
work pretty well for our group.

First the basic rules.

*The version number of the documentation matches the version number of the
application you are documenting.
*Within each version, there are different drafts -- the first one is simply
"draft," the second "preliminary," and the third "final."
*Each document is dated with the completion (delivery) date.

Now the example.

Let's say I start documenting a piece of software named EASYTECH, Version 1.3.
There is no documentation, so I start
writing the user manual from scratch. After my first cut, I give it to the
engineers/project manager for review. On the cover
page of the document I assign the following title: "EASYTECH User Manual,
Version 1.3 -- DRAFT (12 Oct 2000)". When
the corrections come back, I make them. If another review is needed, I mark the
document "EASYTECH User Manual,
Version 1.3 -- PRELIMINARY (5 Nov 2000)" When it is finally complete and ready
to be shipped, the document is marked
"EASYTECH User Manual, Version 1.3 -- FINAL (30 November 2000)" (Or leave it
off -- internally we know it is the final
draft though.) It is helpful to add the dates because if you have a several
preliminaries (or finals) you can differentiate between

What I like about this approach is that there aren't a lot of numbers to track,
you don't have to worry about how to assign
numbers, you know at a glance the development stage of the documentation, and
you always know for which version of the
software the manual has been written.


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