Take the 2-minute tour ×
Programmers Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional programmers interested in conceptual questions about software development. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I've been googling for a while and can't fathom why this doesn't exist yet.

By a specification-code workflow I mean a system which links code to it's specification. For example I could be looking at a repository and highlight a specific revision and it would give me the related spec. I could also reverse this process and select a spec and it would show me all the related code changes and issues.

I'm looking for this so I can mine a current system for ideas for my uni FYP of a software development suite harnessing existing systems.

share|improve this question
Your title contradicts your question. Do you mean spec or documentation? –  Simon Nov 30 '12 at 13:03
@Simon spec, I know there are various XML documentation tools already in existence. –  Inverted Llama Nov 30 '12 at 13:45

1 Answer 1

Any decent code documentation system, like JavaDoc, allows the programmer/documenter to insert a link to a web page in a code comment tag so you can read the code, click the link and go to the referred page (spec/doc/whatever). Some "live" documentation system (the one that resides on web server) can do the reverse path and link to the code repository (GITHub, Sourceforge, etc.). This is done using an HTML link to the URL of the source file and works only if the source file is published on the web.

In any case, the best granularity you can get is at the class/function/variable level when going from code to specs and at the source file level when going from specs to code (usually, it is impossible to link to a specific function, class or line of code inside the source file).

Also, links must be inserted by hand (both direction) so it is very likely that they are not up-to-date, working and meaningful.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.