Re: Version Release Notes

Subject: Re: Version Release Notes
From: Earl Morton <WorkgWords -at- AOL -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 24 Jan 1997 04:18:16 -0500

In a message dated 97-01-23 16:33:50 EST, Rebecca Phillips wrote:

Part 2: I am hesitant about suggestions from new manager has made for
the documentation, and I would like to bounce them off of you guys.

Release notes, by nature, include features which are relevant to various
different parts of the manual. Under each feature description in the
release notes, she would like me to write the name and number of the
affected chapter under each feature.

I think that in most cases, the user will derive no benefit from
referring to the manual. For example, if the dialog box has changed,
what good does it do for him to look back at the manual and compare the
existing to the new? On the other hand, there is good logic in placing
new features within the context of the user manual.

For those of you who write version release notes, do you refer back to
the parts of the manual affected in the release notes themselves? Do
customers find this helpful? Distracting? Do you think it's a good idea?

Again, I am speaking as a user of release notes rather than as a writer. I
have always appreciated release notes that refer to the original. Comparing
the new to the old helps me understand and remember the changes. By the same
token, I've been annoyed at having to dig through a manual to find the
correct discussion to compare, when the publisher did not provide a reference
to it. This customer finds it helpful and not at all distracting.

Earl Morton
WorkgWords -at- aol -dot- com

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