Re: maintaining a list of changes in User Guides between versions

Subject: Re: maintaining a list of changes in User Guides between versions
From: Svi Ben-Elya <svi -at- svi -dot- co -dot- il>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Wed, 7 Feb 2007 10:36:26 +0200 (IST)

There are really good reasons to keep track of changes made to
the documentation, at least for products under development.

When I work in FrameMaker I use a FrameScript that I wrote a
few years ago to embed dated Document Notes. It is documented
in a whitepaper on document management that I believe is still
posted on Techwr-l and microtype. If you have FrameScript I
can send you the script. It is really easy to use.

- Svi Ben-Elya -
svi -at- ieee -dot- org

P.S. You might want to check out the latest additions to the site - it's always changing.

---- Original message ----
>Date: Tue, 6 Feb 2007 11:30:11 +0200
>From: "Caroline Tabach" <Caroline -at- radcom -dot- com>
>Subject: maintaining a list of changes in User Guides between

>Actually, it is vaguely to do with a discussion of some sort
of request from outside the company and this must have come up
as a requirement for documentation delivered. So I wondered,
âShould I be doing this? Will someone ask me to do this soon?
Is everyone doing it except me? If so, what will I answer when
they ask me to document changes in the UGs?â
>Message: 51
>Date: Mon, 05 Feb 2007 14:12:08 -0500
>From: Beth Agnew < >
>Subject: Re: maintaining a list of changes in User Guides between
> versions.
>To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
>Message-ID: <45C78188 -dot- 2040001 -at- senecac -dot- on -dot- ca>
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
>Why do they need to keep track of these changes? It's additional
>overhead to you in terms of your time and resources, do you
really want
>to be doing that? It sounds like because they track changes
in the
>product they think you should do it too. I have been asked to
keep such
>a log before. I smile and say, "We don't do that." Are you
going to
>track changes every time you do a spell check, fix some typos
-- 2 Feb
>corrected 27 typos, or rework a sentence. No. (Gosh, at least
I hope
>not!) So then you have to develop specifications of what
you'll track
>and what you won't bother with. Track reworking a paragraph?
No. Track
>moving chapters around? Track swapping in new graphics? It
can be
>nightmare to have to account for all that.
>If they want to know if you've documented features X, Y and Z
in this
>new version, it's easy enough to find in the publication
itself. If it's
>changed in the product, they can assume it's changed in the
>documentation. Of course, if something is missed that's not a
>tracking changes will help. Somewhere you'll probably have
notes about
>what you were asked to do in the new version. With that, the
>readme that lists product changes, and the previous and
current versions
>of the documentation, that should be sufficient. Use a
version control
>system if you want to have a finer grained handle on what
>changed version to version, including typos.
>When people don't understand what we do as techwriters, they
often ask
>for things that work for other roles but not for ours. Just
say no. :-)
>Caroline Tabach
>Technical/Marcom Writer
>Fax: +972 3 6474681
>Email: caroline -at- radcom -dot- com

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