Large help projects and version control software

Subject: Large help projects and version control software
From: Steven Brown <stevenabrown -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 19 Aug 2002 09:07:20 -0700 (PDT)


I'd like to hear how mid- to large-size documentation
departments (five or more writers) manage large help
projects using version control software such as CVS or
PVCS VM.

We have a help project with roughly 600 topics, using
PVCS to manage the files. Our department doesn't seem
to follow a strict procedure for managing the files,
and I fear it's only a matter of time before something
is mucked up.

It's not clear to me whether there's a "best practice"
for "getting" versus "checking out" files when topics
need to be updated. For example, one can "get" a copy
of a file (which is supposedly read-only) but then
make it writable, seemingly allowing one to override
the "check out" feature of the system. Should we
always be checking out files, or does that restrict
workflow too severely?

How do YOU manage hundreds of files when half a dozen
writers continually have their hands in them?

I know this is a vague question/issue, but something
just doesn't feel right with the way we do things
here.

Thanks,
Steven Brown
Senior Technical Writer


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