revision dates

Subject: revision dates
From: Miki Magyar <MDM0857 -at- MCDATA -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 24 Jul 1996 12:00:43 -0600

Chuck Beck asked for guidance on revision dates: when and how to use
them when the document changes rapidly.

Hmmm.... interesting problem! And I don't know of an obvious easy
answer. However, you didn't tell us how this is being distributed,
whether it's a shippable product or an in-house program, if you distribute
change pages only or a whole new manual, or how critical it is that the
end user know that the version they have is the most recent. For ISO
9001 purposes, this can be essential, but for many other purposes it may
not be sufficiently important to justify the hassle of constant updates.

One possibility is to put it online. Then whatever they access is current.
This works if it's an internal document.

Limit published updates to quarterly, then include all revisions
accumulated to that point.

One way of deciding if it's a new revision is whether or not there has
been substantive change. If so, it's a new revision, otherwise it's just an
update or intermediate version, like the "V6.2" for software.

Good luck - it's not a trivial problem.

mikim -at- mcdata -dot- com

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