Version Control - Dates & Versions in File Names

Subject: Version Control - Dates & Versions in File Names
From: "kelly keck" <kelly -dot- keck -at- imagine-one -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 15 Apr 2008 08:08:36 -0500

Finally, my company is getting version control software (possibly SVN).
I'm currently working on the standard operating procedures for
documentation, which includes the naming convention for files.
Previously, because we didn't have any good way of controlling versions
of documents, we included the date and version number as part of the
filename (for example ABC_UserManual_DRAFT_02-03-07_v1-3). Now that
we're going to have a more automated system to keep track of this, I'm
debating dropping the date and/or version from the file name.

The main reason I can see for keeping them is that they allow someone to
know how up-to-date a doc is just by looking at the filename. No
checking of the version control system required. (If we go with
Tortoise SVN, that consideration is pretty well eliminated. You can't
get more obvious than a bright green check mark on the file icon.)

It might also be of use to someone who doesn't have access to the
version control system (say, a customer) but who still receives multiple
documents. This both because they will see the date and version easily
and because older documents won't accidentally be overwritten on a
customer's computer.

The main downside is that it complicates the check-in process. If a
file name changes every time a doc is updated, the file has to be
checked in first, then renamed, rather than simply checked in.

Thoughts? Suggestions?

Kelly Keck
Imagine One Technology & Management
Documentation Specialist
(301) 866-4098, ext. 108
kelly -dot- keck -at- imagine-one -dot- com

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