RE: Release notes: what's your standard like?

Subject: RE: Release notes: what's your standard like?
From: "Andrew Wurzer" <techwr-l -at- baldingape -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 11 Oct 2005 19:59:02 -0400

The company where I work provides two primary methods for getting "release
notes" which is fairly different from what you describe, in part I'm sure
because our release notes are not used to sell the product (except insofar
as good documentation helps to sell a product). One is that we have an
exhaustive list of all changes to our application, by build number,
available to our customers via web site. Those are the sort of "one
sentence" list items one often sees in bug fix lists. We also put out a
comprehensive new features guide with each version, which lists every single
new feature in the application, discusses its purpose and general use, then
goes on to describe exactly how that feature is used, step by step. And, of
course, the new features information is integrated into the existing
documentation. They do not include any bug fixes unless the bug fix is
either really major or it affects the business logic/function of the

Since our upgrades are free to our customers (well, not for sale
individually; they are included in yearly support agreements), we don't
really have to "sell" the upgrade in that sense. This allows us to focus
more solidly on helping the customers achieve high utilization of their new

As for distribution/format, our primary documentation is HTML Help, but the
new features guide is a PDF document that users get with their upgrade CD or
download from our web site. Many of our users print copies of the new
features guide.

-----Original Message-----
I'm curious how your respective organizations view and publish release

Most of the software companies where I've worked have used them in a pretty
typical format: a list of bug fixes, known issues, workarounds, and
(depending on the standard at hand) installation instructions. Once in a
while, the document would include a quick overview of major changes, but for
the most part, granular instruction was left to the standard documentation
set. A set of release notes was included with any release.


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Release notes: what's your standard like?: From: Jenn Wilson

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