Re: Reprinting a manual before new software version

Subject: Re: Reprinting a manual before new software version
From: Donald Le Vie <dlevie -at- VLINE -dot- NET>
Date: Thu, 1 Jul 1999 08:05:03 -0500

I totally agree with Rowena's solution and comments. Back when I was info.
dev. project manager for a division of a large microprocessor mfg.,
documentation changes went out as addendums and technical supplements, but
the rev. number did not change. If the product functionality changed by less
than 10%, we issued product addendums and technical supplements, and
incremented the version number by .1. If the product functionality changed
by more than 10%, we issued new user documentation to the web first, and
incremented the rev. number by one whole number digit. So, if a manual had
two small (<10%) functionality revisions over time, and then a major (>10%)
change (say, going from v1.2 to 2.0), everyone understood the significance
behind the version changes. Products in the same family that had
functionality changes of approximately 30% or more were simply given a new
product name/nomenclature. For example, the BFD4300 microprocessor family
might contain two products: A BFD4320 and a BFD4340, where the underlying
architecture of the BFD4340 is the same as the BFD4320, but the
functionality difference was >30%.

I doubt you'll get responses that agree with NOT changing the revision
nomenclature somehow...perhaps you need to "re-educate"

Donn Le Vie
Integrated Concepts, Inc.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Rowena Hart [SMTP:rhart -at- XCERT -dot- COM]
> Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 1999 4:59 PM
> To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
> Subject: Re: Reprinting a manual before new software version
> Darren,
> This seems like more of a product management/marketing
> conundrum than a problem with your documents, which you
> are probably aware of already.
> Companies usually, from what I've seen and heard, do not
> ship a product with new functionality or features under the
> same version number for the very reason you stated: if
> existing customers get wind of it they start shouting down
> the line to the nearest sales rep demanding a free upgrade.
> Poof, there go the company's profits.
> That said, if your managers and marketeers are, ahem,
> foolish enough to ship a new product using an old version
> number, you will have to figure out some way to document
> the new features and functionality.
> I would recommend that you reprint and ship the OLD
> document (the one that existing customers have) along
> with technical notes, readmes, PDFs, or "addendum"
> documentation for the new features and functions.
> The rationale for this is that you want to maintain the
> appearance that no major changes worthy of an upgrade
> have been made to the product. (Which is, of course,
> a money-losing attitude.)
> Shipping an old doc is only possible if you use some
> kind of revision control system and can reprint the
> original x.0 documentation. If you overwrote the x.0
> documentation files you will have no choice but to ship
> the new documentation. (You didn't mention this as
> being a problem in your original post, but I have heard
> of this happening.)
> Hope this helps,
> Rowena
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Rowena Hart Technical Writer
> Xcert International Inc.
> 1001-701 West Georgia Street Phone: 1 (604) 640-6210
> Vancouver, BC, Canada V7Y 1C6 Fax: 1 (604) 640-6220
> Web: E-mail: rhart -at- xcert -dot- com
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=
> =

From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=

Previous by Author: Linguistics and American usage
Next by Author: Re: Grammar Books
Previous by Thread: Re: Reprinting a manual before new software version
Next by Thread: Re: Reprinting a manual before new software version

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads