question on speedy collection of engr info

Subject: question on speedy collection of engr info
From: julie brodeur/mccready <jool -at- petting-zoo -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 6 Sep 2001 12:02:37 -0700 (PDT)

Hi there, wondering if anyone had any good tips/advice on the following...

I'm currently documenting a toolkit with a large number of commands, which
the engineer changes often during point rollouts. So my doc is *always*
way out of date by the time I learn of the changes and talk to QA -- both
QA and Engr get confused on which change affects which release, despite my
best efforts at asking pointed questions and pinning down the exact usage
for the upcoming release. The confusion comes, of course, because there
are so many of these commands and minute changes in them to track and

So anyway, I need to figure out how best to keep track of this all and
draw some line around which things I document for which release, and how
that will ultimately help the people reading the doc.

Any tips are appreciated.

Some things I've thought of:

* trying to get the engineer to add a short message to his CVS check-ins,
and setting up an auto email to me on his check-ins

* meeting with the engineer more often (difficult, because he's generally
out of the office and kinda flaky about making meetings anyway)

* breaking up the toolkit guide into portions and emailing the engineer
what i have in bite-size chunks, hoping he'll review it and send me

* doing the above, but using the bugdb instead of an email

* trying to get QA person to warn me a couple days before he plans to test
the new commands so I can pester the engr for exact usage before QA tests

* trying to get some manager types to realize that a ton of tiny point
releases aren't as helpful as they might seem

ARG! :(

yours in tech writing misery,


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