Re: Frequent Interim Software Releases (long)

Subject: Re: Frequent Interim Software Releases (long)
From: "Parks, Beverly" <ParksB -at- EMH1 -dot- HQISEC -dot- ARMY -dot- MIL>
Date: Wed, 21 May 1997 14:57:23 -0700

Melinda Carr wrote:
>How do those of you who write for software companies handle frequent =
>interim releases of the same product? I am convinced that there is a =
>better way of handling it than the method we currently use.
>My questions:
>1) Are frequent releases common in other software companies? Is this =
>more normal for a small company than a large one?
>2) What is the best way to handle documenting these changes? Should we =
>print one version of the manual for each main (e.g., 3.0, 4.0, etc.) =
>version of the software and then leave everything else in the readme and =
>helps? Oftentimes changes are not limited to new features--a current =
>feature might change or options might be added to existing dialog boxes.

I work for the government, so our methods may not be very "real world".
The users of our product are all internal (about 200 users). The initial
release was accompanied by a manual. In the beginning, we were cranking
out new releases every month. With those we just provided release notes
that gave *brief* descriptions of the changes. They were more "what"
than "how to". Each set of release notes (each containing between 8 and
10 new or upgraded features) fit on two sides of one 8-1/2 x 11-inch
sheet. Our release cycle has slowed down now because of changes in
programming staff, so now I'm working on updating the manual to
incorporate the release notes, plus the new stuff for the next release
due out in July.

>Bev Parks
>parksb -at- emh1 -dot- hqisec -dot- army -dot- mil
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