Product dependencies... urgent!

Subject: Product dependencies... urgent!
From: "Hart, Geoff" <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 3 Jul 2002 12:50:46 -0400

Poorni Aravindan Kumar reports: <<We are releasing two products. Product A
is the main product and Product B is bundled with the Product A. Product A
will have two patch releases, but Product B will just be the same. Both
Product A and B have separate Release Notes. The product dependencies and
support are different for each of Product A patches. In the Product B's
Release Notes, I've a note quoting: "Product B's software and product
dependencies are specific to the Product A patch it supports (is bundled
with). Its hardware, software, and product requirements are dependent on the
Product A requirements. For information on Product A's hardware and software
requirements, see Product A's Release Notes." Does the above note convey
the required information?>>

It seems to me that a better solution would be to produce a single set of
release notes that includes all the possibilities you listed; that way,
readers don't have to go searching for Product A's notes. Moreover, this
would let you produce optimal documentation because you'd be presenting all
the necessary information in one place, well integrated, rather than forcing
readers to compile information from two separate sources. This might look
like the following:

Product A (general)
Patch 1 for Product A
- details
- implications for Product B
Patch 2 for Product A
- details
- implications for Product B
Product B (general)

Alternatively, you could move the implications for product B under Product
B, producing the following structure:

Product B
- generalities
- implications of Patch 1 for product A
- implications of Patch 2 for product A

--Geoff Hart, geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
Forest Engineering Research Institute of Canada
580 boul. St-Jean
Pointe-Claire, Que., H9R 3J9 Canada
"User's advocate" online monthly at
Hofstadter's Law--"The time and effort required to complete a project are
always more than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter's

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