A specification (often abbreviated as spec) is an explicit set of requirements to be satisfied by a material, product, or service.

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Estimating time for planning and technical design using Evidence Based Scheduling

I'm at the beginning of a development project in a large organization. The Functional Requirements are currently being worked out and documented with our business stakeholders by our Enterprise ...
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How can a non-technical person learn to write a spec for small projects?

How can a non-technical person learn to write specs for small projects? A friend of mine is trying to outsource some development on a statistics project. In particular, he does a lot of work in ...
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1answer
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ISTQB terminology question (Defect)

According to ISTQB (and few more sources + wiki ), a defect/bug is the actual cause of error in software, e.g. incorrect statement, logical or semantic error. The actual definion is: a flaw in the ...
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What do you need from a client to create a site

I am trying to figure out what a programmers needs from a client to create a website. This is a complicated database driven site. How should the information look? Should I layout the pages in ...
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4answers
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Experience of Python's “PEP-302 New Import Hooks”

I'm one of the developers of Ruby (CRuby). We are working on Ruby 2.0 release (planned to release 2012/Feb). Python has "PEP302: New Import Hooks" (2003): This PEP proposes to add a new set of ...
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How To Document an Object Oriented Design in Text

For my next project, I'm looking to document my Object Oriented design in simple text before jumping the gun to code it up. I want to do this for two reasons. I want to give proper thought to my ...
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1answer
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When to skip solving the general problem and settling for the specific problem?

I've been working hard on trying to develop a general solution to my problem, but I cannot seem to formulate a proper algorithm for it, at least one that doesn't take a ton of inaccurate grunt work ...
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3answers
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Private Wiki vs Google Doc to share specifications for a team? [closed]

My team is debating whether to put the specifications on a private wiki or in a google document. Can someone provide me with a summarized list of pros/cons for using a private wiki vs google docs ...
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1answer
152 views

Should I provide a language reference in addition to a formal specification for the programming language I am designing?

I am designing a programming language, and I would like to provide a complete documentation for it. So far, I have planned to write the following documents: An initial design outline, mostly as a ...
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343 views

Spec Writing Management

I simply cannot imagine writing software without a spec. No matter how sketchy or high level it is, spec is important to explain to the clueless programmers on what are the functionalities of the ...
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0answers
59 views

New website - best practice for requirements specs? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Extracting user requirements from a person who does not know how to express himself As a hobby freelancer I'm new to this. I've never had a non-technical client before ...
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4answers
702 views

Who should be responsible for writing/updating design specifications in an agile team

I work as part of a scrum-like Agile team and a while ago, one thing we identified that the team should do is maintain good set of design documents for our code base. Because we are agile and do have ...
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6answers
548 views

Should we put the specification documents in source control system such as svn?

Today, One of my colleague and I have a debate about "Should we put the specification documents in source control system such as SVN?". In my opinion, It should be. Everything relate to developing ...
4
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1answer
222 views

What is an effective way to organize tasks for a new project?

Is there a practical solution to organizing the initial tasks for a new project? To elaborate, imagine the features/stories/goals are laid out for a project. How might one go about organizing those ...
4
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1answer
66 views

Tooling and support for message format specifications

How do most companies define and manage message format specifications? Is it common for companies to create custom tools for creating and working with these documents? At work we have a lot of ...
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3answers
461 views

How to write Requirements for a specific module

I am familiar with writing Software Requirements Specification, but not quite sure how to write the requirements for a specific module. Let's say I need to develop a Reservation System and there ...
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4answers
327 views

I want to explain why the specification must not be changed during development period

I want to explain why the specification must not be changed during development period to the new planning department employee. Is there any cool document that does this?
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4answers
227 views

Concurrent development w/o central design?

I've got a team of developers which are trying to write specifications/tests concurrently for different (and sometimes adjacent) parts of the system. Typically, the person writing the ...
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0answers
325 views

Are there any good resources to learn how to write tech specs/design documents [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Writing a Software Requirement Specification How to make a great functional specification I am starting to write more tech specs and design documents. However, I don't ...
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9answers
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How do I move a client from UI mockups to a set of real requirements?

Say you are given a mock-up of 25 screens of the visual states of your application. The expectation is that this is enough for us to be confident we can develop and hand it to the original stakeholder ...
5
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5answers
737 views

Interesting questions about Behaviour-Driven Development

For my master thesis at Software Engineering, I want to investigate in the new development technique BDD (Behaviour-Driven Development). In my opinion this technique could really improve on customer ...
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6answers
192 views

How do you create a software process for a project?

As I've written about in other questions here, the project that I'm working on now has no software process. That means no documentation (including hard copy requirements or specification), no source ...
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3answers
714 views

How do I write a specification? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: how do I write a functional specification quickly and efficiently With so many projects changing halfway - and clients assuming much can be changed at no additional cost ...
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5answers
201 views

The value of an updated specification

I'm at the tail end of a large project (around 5 months of my time, > 60,000 lines of code) on which I was the only developer. The specification documents for the project were designed well early on, ...
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5answers
281 views

Managing software projects - advice needed

I work for a large government department as part of an IT team that manages and develops websites as well as stand alone web applications. We’re running in to problems somewhere in the SDLC that ...
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3answers
903 views

Are there standard practices when writing a spec for a software development project?

Are there standard practices when writing a spec for a software development project? Is there a specific format to follow? Also, does the developer or the client write this up? If the dev, is this ...
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332 views

Why it is important to include definition of success/failure in specification?

I've read Steve McConnell's "Code Complete" and one of items in checklist for requirements is: "Is the definition of success included? Of failure?". Why is this important? Can you write any examples ...
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3answers
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Why are exception specifications bad?

Back in school some 10+ years ago, they were teaching you to use exception specifiers. Since my background is as one of them Torvaldish C programmers who stubbornly avoids C++ unless forced to, I only ...
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3answers
429 views

How can we verify that software meets specifications meets requirements?

So we're pretty good at eliciting requirements from our end customers, business division and sales/marketing. We plan projects to add/enhance features to meet those requests and prioritize tasks to ...
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2answers
8k views

Where can I find examples of functional specifications? [closed]

I am writing a functional specification for a software program (Mac OS X application to be exact). I want to improve this by looking at other (good) functional specifications, but I cannot find any. ...
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13answers
657 views

Can you write an unambiguous specification in a natural language like English?

It seems to me that you cannot possibly write a software specification in English that is completely free of ambiguities, simply due to the informal nature of natural language - and therefore that a ...
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4answers
303 views

What standards does your team use for your specification documents headers and footers?

TL;DR: What header/footer do you put on your Functional&Technical specifications to avoid people having different versions at meetings? Story: We're have a lot of documents, being changed by ...
8
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6answers
561 views

When should development stop and QA begin?

We write a complete functional specification for our development team of two. We do not have professional testers however we have drafted in the help of our available helpdesk personnel to perform 'QA ...
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5answers
107 views

Should an XML Schema be specified in a software specification?

Would you include an XML schema for a new file format in a software specification document or would you consider this too specific? Or would it be already too specific to require XML at this point?
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4answers
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How do you spec out your project?

all. I'm wondering how do you spec./plan out your project? For example, for webiste you can use Wireframe. How about for desktop or add-ins such as MS Office add-ins? I want it as simple as possible ...
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8answers
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Let users get requirements together on their own or guide them along?

I'm sure everyone has experienced something like this. You go into a meeting with a client who has a project. They have no/few requirements in mind and the vaguest understanding of what they ...
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1answer
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Have you ever dealt with writing a spec late in the development lifecycle?

We have an existing code base which has been developed to meet the needs of most of our clients, which has accumulated features and bug fixes as they were needed and as projects developed universally ...
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5answers
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What to plan before starting development on a project?

Say I've received the specs for a project from a client, and now its time to start developing it. Normally, I just start with the first module (usually user registration) and then go from one module ...
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3answers
221 views

Is it practical to retroactively write specifications documenting a system via automated acceptance tests?

If a project was coded without much (or any) formal documentation and is without unit tests, does it make any sense to use tools like Fitnesse and SpecFlow to write automated acceptance tests as the ...
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3answers
286 views

What techniques should be used to ensure clear communication from the customer?

Some customers use terms from the domain language interchangably and incorrectly. This has, on several occassions, lead to an implementation of a feature in a way that was not desired by the customer. ...
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614 views

Why bother with detailed specs?

When writing software, what's the point of writing a formal, detailed dead-tree specification? To clarify, a somewhat informal, high-level specification for people who don't want to read the code ...
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Specifying and applying broad changes to a program

How do you handle incomplete feature requests, when the ones asking for the feature cannot possibly write a complete request? Consider an imaginary situation. You are a tech lead working on a piece ...
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How to make a great functional specification

I am going to start a little side project very soon, but this time i want to do not just the little UML domain model and case diagrams i often do before programming, i thought about making a full ...
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1answer
225 views

Where can I learn and understand the complete workings of HTTP headers, so I can implement my own? [closed]

I am looking to learn how to properly use, and implement, HTTP headers. What is the best resource or set of guidelines that I can use? ( especially ranges to detect download managers, etc) ?
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12answers
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Dealing with bad/incomplete/unclear specifications? [duplicate]

I'm working on a project where our dev team gets the specifications from the business part of the company. Both the business management and the IT management require estimates and deadline ...
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1answer
3k views

how do I write a functional specification quickly and efficiently

So I just read some fabulous articles by Joel on specs here. (Was written in 2000!!) I read all 4 parts, but Im looking for some methodical approaches to writing my specs. Im the only lonely dev, ...
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1answer
135 views

Legal aspects of Java specification implementations in other programming languages

I am planning to implement an official Java specification in a different programming language. Would this be a copyright violation? Hypothetical examples: a JMX "wrapper" library for C++ which can ...
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7answers
424 views

user's requirements verification, howto?

My question is: How can you verify the users' requirements early in the software creation process? I show the user specifications, prototypes, demos... but still users forget to share some ...
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9answers
758 views

Is it appropriate to go around your boss to receive an answer? If so how?

If you have a project and there are questions that need answered regarding a specific part of it but answers are not coming back to you because of a reason such as: "The project is not in scope and as ...
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Do you ever read language specs? [closed]

While trying to answer questions on SO site (particularly C++ questions) I find that most of the times one person or the other includes a quote from the standard. I myself have hardly read the ...