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The Version 12 Help file does not contain any "What's New" sections prior to 10.0.0:

Sure, I can find them somewhere else, like an older Help file. But it just makes life more difficult when, for example, trying to determine when EXPRTYPE was added so I can answer a question.

I.e., there's not much point suggesting EXPRTYPE to someone using 8.0.3.

I believe that more, not less material should be in the Help. Web docs are OK, but DCX is really slow, and most tech notes and white papers don't have dates in them (that sucks big wampum, no dates, makes them less than fully useful).

Besides, the "What's New" sections are small and they NEVER need updating... what's the big deal?

Why the rush to purge history?

asked 28 Oct '10, 09:33

Breck%20Carter's gravatar image

Breck Carter
accept rate: 20%

I second that suggestion, too - "needs too much space" can't be an argument here. - Besides that, exprtype() works with 8.0.3, though it is not documented there.

(28 Oct '10, 10:11) Volker Barth

FWIW, the 8.0.3 maintenance release has had no own doc set, just a "Readme file" with the news and changes - and unfortunately, that made it newer in the official docs, and therefore even the v9-V11 docs don't list the changes from 8.0.3.

(28 Oct '10, 10:14) Volker Barth

@Volker: I believe "too much space" is, in fact, the official reason... at least, that's what I've been told in the past about other material that hasn't made it into the Help. And thanks for the EXPRTYPE heads-up, you wouldn't believe how timely that is :)

(28 Oct '10, 11:09) Breck Carter

Space wasn't an issue in this case. Generally we evaluate removals based on factors such as relevancy, redundancy, and effort to maintain. In this case, our reasons were two-fold:

One, subsequent EBFs on those early versions actually changed behavior away from what the older descriptions were saying, leading to confusion about the descriptions vs. how the old release was behaving after an EBF xyz etc. was installed. Although this can still happen, we wanted to minimize the amount of mismatch in a 'current' doc install, as it was very high.

Two, the effort to maintain the old information both at an XML level (which, as a standard, evolves over time) and at a content level (subsequent changes to the behavior released in EBFs and new releases) was considerable compared to the frequency that the info gets used.

Mind you, we did recognize that there might still be cases where folks on older releases might want to scan all changes up to current. That's why we provided a link to it. Yes, it does require an extra link to get to it, but it seemed a reasonable hurdle, comparatively.

Hope this is helpful.

permanent link

answered 02 Nov '10, 16:32

Laura%20Nevin's gravatar image

Laura Nevin
accept rate: 66%


Thanks to bringing this to our attention – Somewhere in the back of my memory, I knew that it's understandable but not realistic to assume that all enhancements are made in chronological order based on version numbers. In earlier times with the higher maintenance release numbers, feature XY might have been introduced both in 7.0.4. and 8.0.2. One might assume that it's in 8.0.0 when it's in 7.0.4 but that might turn wrong. And that's hard to document, I agree. - BTW: Is that one of the reasons nowadays MRs are released less often and usually only for the newest version?

(02 Nov '10, 17:14) Volker Barth

Hi Volker, I'm not sure (re your question). :) Perhaps someone else will answer that one. One more point I'd add, though, is that not everyone is on the same EBF, and not all platforms get the same changes at the same time. So there's always likely to be some mismatch between docs and s/w as time passes; EBF readmes become essential for learning exactly what changes you've got.

(02 Nov '10, 18:49) Laura Nevin

Laura, I agree on the EBF readmes are "required reading" - cf.

(03 Nov '10, 08:54) Volker Barth

I posted this in DCX as well: Even after being told about the link to earlier versions, it took me several attempts to find it... hidden in plain sight in one of those introductory paragraphs no one ever reads, well, hardly ever.

IMO "Earlier Versions" deserves a Help topic all of its own, listed in the Contents list right after "What's new in version 10.0.0". The topic body could contain the link.

(03 Nov '10, 11:33) Breck Carter

I'll look into that suggestion. In the meantime, I've added the info (and some index entries that point to it) to "Using This Help » Locating additional information and resources » Finding out more and requesting technical support".

(03 Nov '10, 11:54) Laura Nevin
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question asked: 28 Oct '10, 09:33

question was seen: 1,848 times

last updated: 03 Nov '10, 11:34