Software documentation is written text that accompanies computer software. It either explains how it operates or how to use it, and may mean different things to people in different roles.

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Why bother differentiating between functional and nonfunctional requirements?

I understand the difference between the two, but I get questioned by my colleagues of the benefit of labeling requirements as functional or nonfunctional (or transitional). Why bother to do so? He ...
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3answers
233 views

How to refer to specific areas of code in documentation?

I'm about to leave a project, and before I go my boss has asked for me to document code (I've not documented very well). It's not a big deal, the project is not terribly complex. But I'm finding ...
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5answers
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Good references for End User documentation examples and advise [closed]

Our in house software has been used for many users and the training department asked us for any tips of end user documentation format. Does any know where can I find good examples of software end ...
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4answers
2k views

How can open source projects be successful without documentation about their design or architecture?

I want to improve my programming skills by studying famous open source projects, but I find it is easy to get lost by just jumping into their source code. So I decided to read their documentation ...
8
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7answers
641 views

Commenting/In-Code Documentation Styles

This might be a stupid question, but it's been in the back of my head for a while and I can't find a decent answer anywhere else. I have a teacher who says we should explicitly list each parameter ...
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6answers
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What is a good non-technical example of a cumulative error?

I'm working on a report which needs to explain in non-technical terms the effects of a cumulative error, and why it is of importance to use absolute calculations. Definition of 'cumulative error' ...
8
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5answers
739 views

Where should a programmer explain the extended logic behind the code?

I have developed a few quantitative libraries in C# where it is important to understand not only the classic information that goes with the XMLDoc comments (which contains basic information with the ...
8
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5answers
321 views

How to prevent changes to an internal API from breaking other projects?

We have like 20 - 30 independent modules/solutions. Each of these has about 7 - 10 projects with different classes, components, etc. These are all used internal to our company. Our problem is when ...
8
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4answers
27k views

What is an “implementation plan”? [closed]

I was recently given the task of creating an implementation plan document. When I asked for an example of one that I could look at, I was told to look at the Project Plan that had already been created ...
8
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5answers
977 views

What is the standard for modeling modern applications prior to development?

I'm taking on my first enterprise-level application and I want my team to model the entire ASP.NET MVC C# application before we even tap out one line of code. UPDATE: This was not intended to be a ...
8
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6answers
641 views

How to use unit tests as a source of information?

A colleague of mine was once at a seminar about agile development, where he heard it is possible to use unit tests as technical documentation. Something like using unit tests as an example of how to ...
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2answers
1k views

Documenting a programming language: Reference Manual

We are looking at revamping documentation across our product line. Part of that includes reference manuals for a programming language used as part of the system. When writing a reference manual for a ...
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5answers
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I'm tasked with leading the documentation effort for an existing, entirely undocumented, software product - what resources are there to help me?

I'm a software developer at a technology company. I have been tasked with leading the documentation effort for the product I work on. The goal is to produce documentation internal to developer, and ...
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3answers
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Is there a Django reference?

I am new to Django. I have found the official topic guides https://docs.djangoproject.com/en/1.3/ an excellent place to learn from. But now I am in a place where I need quick reference to see what ...
8
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2answers
59k views

What is the difference between technical specifications and design documents?

What are technical specifications? Are they the same as design documents. If not, what is the difference and some examples?
8
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3answers
346 views

How do I document necessarily complex code structures?

If I have a piece of code that is mathematically or structurally quite complex and irreducibly so, how would I go about documenting this piece of code? In particular, how can I ensure that someone who ...
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4answers
2k views

Is functional spec a “design document”?

So I have been a bit lost in the terms, so first of all I present you what I have learned so far: System requirements specification - what users want, what the system should do Functional requirement ...
8
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7answers
6k views

What should you include in a development approach document?

I'm in the middle of co-producing a "development approach" document for off-shore resources as they ramp up onto our project. The most recent (similar) document our company has used is over 80 pages, ...
8
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3answers
2k views

How does one read RFCs and similar documents? [closed]

RFC: Request for Comments (RFC) is a memorandum published by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) describing methods, behaviors, research, or innovations applicable to the working of the ...
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5answers
318 views

Should a method comment include both a summary and return description when they're often so similar?

I'm a proponent of properly documented code, and I'm well aware of the possible downsides of it. That is outside of the scope of this question. I like to follow the rule of adding XML comments for ...
8
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5answers
2k views

What's the best way to store documentation associated with a code project?

We have a lot of documents associated with our software development. These include things like requirements, design documents, external PDFs, customer files, testing instructions, etc. Currently, ...
8
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2answers
216 views

Ubiquitous Language - conflict between correctness and usability

A core part of Domain Driven Design is the consistent use of a ubiquitous language across the system - in conversations, code, database schema, UI, tests, etc. I'm involved in a project in which ...
8
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1answer
1k views

How to document an algorithm properly with sample data?

I am wondering what should an algorithm documentation contain? Can't locate a proper guideline to follow. I have in mind to include summary of the algorithm description of the algorithm flowcharts ...
8
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2answers
5k views

Can you recommend a good test plan template?

Can you recommend a good test plan template for an agile testing team? I know there are templates for testing on the web and have already looked at some found by search engines, but I could really ...
8
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1answer
696 views

Creating an effective C++ library website and documentation

Creating a C++ library also means documenting it so that others can use it, and that documentation can vary dramatically in quality. How should a website for a C++ library be structured so that it ...
8
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1answer
2k views

Duplicating documentation on interface implementations/overrides good or bad?

So we have an interface like so /// <summary> /// Interface for classes capable of creating foos /// </summary> public interface ICreatesFoo { /// <summary> /// Creates foos ...
8
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2answers
871 views

DRY way to write Javadoc on overload methods

I want to write Javadoc in DRY way. But the oracle document about Javadoc says write same thing again in overload method comment. Can't I avoid repetition?
7
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3answers
5k views

What is “Problem Domain”

I have to document my program for a school project and we have section called "problem domain" but I have no idea what to discuss in this section. So the question is: What should be discussed in the ...
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6answers
409 views

Can code be the documentation in open source developer tools? How frequently is it?

It's understandable that after a big development effort, some OSS authors deem reasonable that the project users should make an effort too in order to get started. Can the source code effectively be ...
7
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5answers
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Is a functional spec a part of the System requirement spec?

I wonder, sources like wikipedia or templates I found shows that Functional spec is a part of System requirement documents. I always thought that SRD is just overall decsription of the system, with ...
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9answers
2k views

Setting Up a Development Environment

I am part of an organization that is formalizing their software development processes/capabilities/etc. While the organization is not traditionally a software organization, they want to do this right ...
7
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3answers
3k views

Documenting a REST interface with a flowchart

Does anybody have suggestions on creating a flowchart representation of a REST-style web interface? In the interest of supplying thorough documentation to co-developers, I've been toying around in dia ...
7
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3answers
3k views

How to document business rules

I am wondering what would be the formal and the most commonly practiced method of documenting business rules? Also how do you document the UI specifications of development artifacts (e.g. Documenting ...
7
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2answers
3k views

How to do documentation for code and why is software (often) poorly documented?

There are some good examples of well-documented code out there, such as java api. But, a lot of code in public projects such as git and internal projects of companies is poorly documented and not very ...
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4answers
379 views

Should all developers on a team have equal role/responsibility in writing and updating software design documents

I've asked a very similar question few days ago, but because I presented too much of my company's current situation, most answers focused completely on something that I wasn't looking to answer. So I ...
7
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1answer
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Template for Knowledge Transfer

I have been working for more than a year for this company. Now they want me to create a KT Document for reference. Is there any template available for me to document the coding done by me..
7
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5answers
3k views

How do you balance documentation requirements with Agile developments [duplicate]

In our development group there is currently discussions around agile and waterfal methodology. No-one has any practical experience with agile, but we are doing some reading. The agile manifesto ...
7
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1answer
3k views

What information should be in the github README.md?

What information would you expect to see in the github README? Should everything go in the README? i.e. Introduction Installation Versions User Guide Implementation Testing Related Resources Or ...
7
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6answers
1k views

How useful are function points? [closed]

How useful is it to measure function points? We use function points at my new job. I've heard of function points but haven't had any training or experience... but I don't have much confidence in ...
7
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5answers
171 views

Do you have any team guidelines regarding exceptions? [closed]

My team recently inherited a project from a team where the amount of developers dropped so low they had to offload some work. One of the projects we inherited was a project littered with nested code, ...
7
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4answers
611 views

How to categorise information in end-user documentation?

One of the greatest piece of documentation I ever read is the TeXbook by Donald Knuth—the manual of the TeX typesetting system, and I used it in my first analysis. As far as I can tell, the type of ...
7
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1answer
187 views

How to document a Ubiquitous Language?

Our company is in the process of converting a lot of manual business processes (and the associated institutional knowledge) into new enterprise software. The project is going really well, but as we ...
6
votes
7answers
2k views

Is it wrong not to create Javadoc for my code?

I do a lot of Java programming at my work (I'm an intern) and I was wondering if it is generally a rule to create javadoc to accompany my code. I usually document every method and class anyways, but I ...
6
votes
10answers
421 views

What do I call people who extend my class in base class documentation?

Been calling them "implementers", but it seems weird to me. /// <summary> /// Implementers should implement this. Derp /// </summary> protected abstract void InternalExecute(); A point ...
6
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7answers
553 views

Commenting regular expressions

Are there any common practises for commenting the regular expressions: inline comments referring different part of RegEx or general comment for all expression?
6
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10answers
392 views

What's the best documentation you produce and why?

I think it's safe to assume that for most programmers, producing documentation is not as fun as actually coding. I think it's also safe to assume that most good programmers recognize the need for ...
6
votes
7answers
737 views

Does not documenting code result in job security? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Should you write good documentation and clean code to increase the “Bus Factor”? I often ask young programmers why they are not documenting their code. Their ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

What are the best documentation patterns? [duplicate]

I've seen a lot of different ways to [or not to] comment out the code, specially patterns on desciptions of function details and file purposes. I'd like to know what is most used pattern to do that ...
6
votes
4answers
353 views

Are the technologies used in an application part of the architecture, or do they represent implementation/detailed design details?

When designing and writing documentation for a project an architecture needs to be clearly defined: what are the high-level modules of the system, what are their responsibilities, how do they ...
6
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4answers
1k views

Should user documentation include screenshots? [duplicate]

This question focuses on user documentation, not on code documentation. I just finished my software project, and the people I work for are expecting me to write user documentation, describing ...