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About branching and inheriting

When you create a new version for a product in Ponydocs, you can choose to inherit all the content from the previous version into the new version, or you can choose to branch some or all of the content instead.

  • If you inherit content from one version to the next, the version tag for the new version is simply added to all topics that belong to the product you're versioning. Any changes you make to that content going forward applies to the new version and the previous version.
  • If you branch content from one version to the next, a new copy of the topic(s) is created and tagged with the new version tag. Any changes you make to the topic tagged with the new version are not applied to the previous versions.

What you choose to do depends a lot on the situation:

A maintenance release

Let's say you are producing documentation for Fflanda, a software product, currently shipping version 2.7.4, and version 2.7.5 is about to come out. It's a maintenance release--just a few things are changing in the software, so the documentation isn't changing a whole lot for the release. When you add version 2.7.5 to the Fflanda product in Ponydocs, you decide to inherit all the content from version 2.7.4 into version 2.7.5, and then just go into the few topics that changed, and branch them individually so you can make changes to the content that apply only to versions 2.7.5 and later.

A minor release

It's a few months later at Fflandacorp, and version 2.8 is about to come out. There are a few feature changes, so two of your manuals are changing a lot, although the rest of the manuals only have a few small updates. When you add version 2.8 to the Fflanda product, you decide to branch both of the manuals that are changing in their entirety, but inherit the content for the rest of the manuals.

A major release

Fflanda is about to ship version 3.0, a major release with a lot of new features and changes. The documentation has also changed; almost every topic has been updated, and you've restructured and reorganized most of the manuals. When you create version 3.0, you decide to branch all the content.

Inserting a version

At some point you may have to insert a version in between two existing, already-populated versions. This might occur because you're maintaining and supporting many versions of a product simultaneously, and a major bug might get fixed on an older codeline (resulting in a change that applies to subsequent versions). You can insert a version into a range of inherited versions and then split/branch at that point.

Last modified on 14 July, 2012
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This documentation applies to the following versions of Ponydocs: 1.0

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