Re: Frequent Interim Software Releases (long)

Subject: Re: Frequent Interim Software Releases (long)
From: Alexia Prendergast <alexiap -at- SEAGATESOFTWARE -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 22 May 1997 07:57:30 -0400

I've worked for large and small companies -- it's been
my experience that small companies have many more
interim releases. We are currently switching to a major-
release-every-6-months model with interim beta releases and
patches so we can cut down/control the number of releases.
I've never worked for a small company that actually had "freezes"-
code or GUI. Some planned to -- but it just didn't happen.

Our print vendor gives us a 2-week turnaround on perfect-
bound books, so we print certain parts of the library
(install guide, e.g.) for every major release and can remain
fairly close to the software. The rest of the books are online
only now, so we can make updates without too much trouble. Release
notes and updated online docs take care of the interim changes.

Alexia Prendergast
Senior Technical Writer
Seagate Software
alexiap -at- sems -dot- com

>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.

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