Re: GNATS documentation evaluation

Subject: Re: GNATS documentation evaluation
From: Jim_McAward -at- Ademco -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2001 08:03:28 -0500


In theory, an electronic bug tracking/change request system is wonderful.
In practice, I'm finding that a bug tracking system that includes doc change
requests is frustrating - your "very possible disadvantage." Our reviewers
are not encouraged to exercise restraint with change requests, some do not
speak English as their primary language, and sthose who are not well trained
will issue bug reports on features that work as designed.

However, bugs big and small both require the same amount of project leader
intervention, and in the case of the documentation, all change requests must
be accepted or rejected individually. If the writer had a markup, he/she
could knock off all the valid comments right away, reject the invalid ones,
and research/negotiate the few controversial ones... all in one sitting.
Instead, we are peppered with change requests right up to the release of the
product, without respect to our printing deadlines.

I'm not convinced this is an issue of organizational maturity (though Megan
G. cites several good points). I think it is essentially a judgement issue
(opinion vs. fact) on the part of the reviewers. Logging requests is fast,
easy, and painless for the collective Them, and in our organization there is
no penalty for late and/or meaningless requests - even though product cannot
be released unless all the bugs/requests are resolved.

Have a great morning,

Jim McAward
Director, Technical Publications
Syosset, NY USA

Subject: GNATS documentation evaluation
From: "Jeff Allen" <jeffrey -dot- allen -at- mycom-int -dot- fr>
Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2001 15:35:10 +0100
X-Message-Number: 4

For the first two software manuals (two manuals of a series)
that our documentation team has written and completed over
the past couple of months, we have asked the developers to
each make all of their change requests and comments in MS
Word. We then review their colored comments and make the
changes in the master documents.

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