PDF documentation questions answered
Paul_McWilliams 110000JT36 Visits (4223)
Questions & Answers
Q: "Theoretically there will now be more frequent changes;"
Since we changed our PDF process in September 2017, less than a year ago, we've already updated the Db2 12 SQL Reference PDF at least 37 times! Compare that to just 16 editions total, over the six years that Version 10 was supported.
Q: "What will indicate if a manual has changed?"
The date at the top of the edition notice, on page 4 inside each PDF, indicates when a manual has changed. However, at the rate that we now refresh the PDF documentation, it is best to assume that every PDF has changed if you last downloaded it more than a week ago. Not every PDF is refreshed so frequently, but any PDF might be updated each week.
Q: "Will you always update the edition date, for example, the What's New? Volume current has "June 26, 2018 edition"?
Yes, the date replaced the previous numbered editions. It reflects the date when we created the PDF at the lab, which is at most one week before we publish it online. As of this writing, the current edition date for the Db2
Q: "Will you always update the manual "version" i.e., GC27-8861-02 will change to GC27-8861-03?"
No, the order numbers remain unchanged for most routine updates. You can use the edition date to identify a particular edition if necessary, but always use the latest edition. Order numbers are an artifact of ordering printed manuals from IBM Publications Center, which has not been supported since July 2013.
Q: "You speak of persistent URL's... how persistent? Will the next manager of this area decide that's not important?"
Things do change. For now however, you can always download the most up-to-date edition of each PDF at the same URL, and we have no plans to change that. If it does change, I expect that we would announce it in this blog and other channels.
Q: "Do you guarantee DB2 V13 will use db2z
We do not guarantee that. However, that is the pattern, and what we would expect to happen in the situation that you postulate.
Q: "One significant improvement would simply be ensuring you archive older versions. Tons of documentation appears to have been lost forever, when it would have been simple and inexpensive to retain the files."
We continually update the documentation for supported Db2 releases. The changes include new features in continuous delivery and important corrections, often based on PMRs and comments from our clients. Keeping many archived PDF editions available would only increase the likelihood that some readers unknowingly find and use out-dated information.
Q: "Can you explain about the reasons why DB2 diagnosis guide is not any more available as a PDF?"
In Db2 12, IBM changed how diagnosis information is delivered. Approximately 60% of the content of the original Diagnosis Guide and Reference is now available without restriction in the Troubleshooting section of IBM Knowledge Center. That change makes the diagnosis information much easier to find and use, and much faster for IBM to update when changes are needed. The remaining 40% of the content is proprietary information, which must continue to be available only to Db2 for z/OS license holders.
If you work for an enterprise with a Db2 for z/OS license, your IBM ID is already associated with a license and no key is required. Just sign in with your IBM ID and visit Advanced diagnostic information for Db2 12 for z/OS for a list of entitled techdocs. Each techdoc contains a PDF that you can download, from one section of the original Diagnosis Guide and Reference.
As always, we recommend that you use the Db2 for z/OS documentation in IBM Knowledge Center whenever you can, but we do recognize that many customers value PDF documentation for Db2. Recognizing that, our goal is to make all available Db2 documentation formats as complete, accurate, and up-to-date as possible. To support that goal, we've optimized the PDF delivery process for efficient updates.
If you use the PDF documentation, take advantage of these changes by downloading the latest PDF whenever you are working online. And, because we do not change the PDF file names or URLs for each update, you can create bookmarks knowing that you are always downloading the most up-to-date content. It's a feature, not a bug.
Paul McWilliams is a technical writer for Db2 for z/OS at IBM Silicon Valley Laboratory.