Revision identity issues

Subject: Revision identity issues
From: "Broberg, Mats" <mats -dot- broberg -at- flir -dot- se>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2003 19:33:08 +0200

Dear listmembers,

Here's a conundrum I would appreciate some input about.

The hardware products for which I write operators' manuals go through many
stages of development after they have been officially released to the
public. We usually avoid to translate a manual for a new product into other
languages until some time after the introduction since the introduction
gives us valueable feedback. This means that a Rev. C of an English manual
may be identical to a Rev. A of a Korean manual.

This creates a bit of confusion, both for sales personnel, the agents, and
the customers. What I would like to aim for is to use the revision of the
top folder in which all source text and all images for the manuals reside
(in the version management system). Using that revision designation would
mean that an English manual ver. 1.7 for one product is always identical to
a Korean manual ver. 1.7 for the same product.

However, this approach has some drawbacks:

1. When a new product is introduced, it means that the first Korean manual
may, for example, is ver. 2.7, instead of 1.0 (since there were a number of
English versions before a decision to translate was taken).

2. If there was a "design revision" (as opposed to "content revision") in
the English version (e.g. a better image describing something, but not
including any new content), perhaps one does not implement this change in
the Korean manual, but wait until there are more changes in the English
manual so that the change will be included along with other changes to the
translation agency. However, during this period of time one may want to
release the English version anyway. This means that if there is an English
ver. 1.0, and one makes a "design revision" and release the English version
as 1.1, and then make more changes (i.e. real "content revisions") that will
go to the translation agency, the next English and Korean manuals will be
both 1.2 - which means a jump in revisions between 1.0 and 1.2 for the
Korean manual.

Ideas and thoughts about this conundrum are very appreciated. For your
information, we handle about 150 target manuals/15 languages/150-200 pages
per manual.

Best regards,
Mats Broberg
FLIR Systems AB

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