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Take what I say with a "I've only done about 10 of these"-sized grain of
Like so much else, it depends :-)
I've used 3 formats depending on the content of the release, user
knowledge, and existing versions.
Item > Resolution: I've used this on releases that primarily addressed
specific 'items' (call 'em bugs, problems, etc.) and were being
distributed to a user base that was all running the same version of the
Changes to system: I've used a chapter based format (1 chapter per
system section) in which I describe 'perceived' changes to the system
where the notes were being distributed to a user base on multiple
versions of the system (in other words, an upgrade release to version 5
from versions 3.2, 3.3, 4.*). For many of the earlier releases, no notes
were distributed (or poor notes were distributed).
Combination of above: I've single-sourced release notes to generate
custom combinations of the above formats based on subsets of the
Overall, I'd say the split is about even between all three formats.
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