ReadMe files - Format?

Subject: ReadMe files - Format?
From: Darren Barefoot <dbarefoot -at- MPS-CANADA -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 9 Jun 1999 10:19:00 -0700


An answer and a question:

A: We use the term "release notes" to refer to all "last minute" documents
that are included with the software. These include a file called "readme,"
as well as others describing installation and licensing instructions. We
separate these because the readme tends to get long very quickly (like too
long for Notepad sometimes) and the readme changes with every maintenance
build, while the installation and licensing documents generally do not. I
tend to concur with your list in terms of what the readme should contain. I
would add information on contacting sales and technical support and a

Q: We develop software for the Windows environment. I'm wondering what
format people put their release notes in? Currently we release in the old
reliable *.txt format as well as *.html. Regarding the latter, we can pretty
much assume that every desktop has an html viewer of some sort (typically,
the ubiquitous Internet Explorer) and it allows us greater flexibility in
including graphics, formatting and external links. Management,
understandably, is not willing to do away with the text format quite yet.
Have others changed completely to html? Have it been considered?

Thanks. DB.

-----Original Message-----
From: Kathy Stanzler [mailto:KatheS -at- HEALTHCARE-AUTOMATION -dot- COM]
Sent: Wednesday, June 09, 1999 10:09 AM
Subject: ReadMe files?

How would you characterize the difference between release notes and a
ReadMe file? According to an an article by Mark Johnson in the Feb '97
issue of Tech Comm, people expect to find the following in a ReadMe
* A list of bugs fixed since the last software release
* A list of existing bugs with workarounds
* System and program conflicts
* New program features and enhancements

These items currently exist in our release notes, so I'm not sure I know
what the difference is.

Kathy Stanzler
Technical Writer
kstanzler -at- healthcare-automation -dot- com

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