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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What is the process of planning software called? Or what is the job title of someone who does software planning?

For example, let's say a non-technical person comes to me with their rough initial specification. And I sit down with them over a couple weeks and help them hone, formalize and better plan the ...
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5answers
667 views

bug: deviation from requirements vs deviation from expectations

I am not clear on this one. No matter the terminology, in the end the software fault/bug causes (according to a lot of sources): Deviation from requirements Devation from expectations But if ...
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9answers
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How to convince a non-technical client that their application spec needs to be simplified?

Often times I am faced with the situation where a new client comes to me with an application that has literally 100s of unnecessary features and it is quite clear that things need to be drastically ...
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3answers
445 views

Does *every* project benefit from written specifications? [closed]

I know this is holy war territory, so please read the question to the end before answering. There are many cases where written specifications make a lot of sense. For example, if you're a contractor ...
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2answers
430 views

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 ...
20
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7answers
1k views

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
2k views

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 ...
0
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3answers
106 views

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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3answers
1k views

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 ...
28
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1answer
7k views

Java: “Heap pollution”

A "Heap Pollution" as in Non-Reifiable Types (The Java™ Tutorials > Learning the Java Language > Generics (Updated)) Why is it called that way?
2
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1answer
104 views

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 ...
41
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4answers
5k views

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 ...
2
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1answer
160 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 ...
2
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0answers
61 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 ...
4
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1answer
284 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
68 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 ...
0
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3answers
625 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 ...
5
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5answers
827 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 ...
0
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3answers
1k 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 ...
61
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5answers
46k views

Two HTML elements with same id attribute: How bad is it really?

Just browsing the google maps source code. In their header, they have 2 divs with id="search" one contains the other, and also has jstrack="1" attribute. There is a form separating them like so: ...
89
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12answers
52k views

What is the difference between requirements and specifications?

I've been tasked with developing requirements and specifications for a project our group is starting. I realized that I don't know the difference; a Google search just confused me more -- it seems ...
5
votes
5answers
205 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, ...
6
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
6
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4answers
368 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
9k views

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 ...
5
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3answers
567 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
9k 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. ...
3
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4answers
919 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 ...
17
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9answers
1k views

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 ...
8
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2answers
16k views

What are the differences between throwaway and evolutionary prototypes?

I have notes about various methods of prototyping, and I found several definitions on the Internet, but I would like to confirm what I learned. I understand that throwaway prototyping is developed ...
5
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5answers
293 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 ...
8
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13answers
732 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 ...
1
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4answers
371 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 ...
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5answers
1k views

Wiki-like tool for writing specifications and documentation [closed]

I am looking for a wiki or wiki-like system for writing and managing specification and documentation for a software project. I know there are lots of wiki-implementations available, but are there ...
8
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6answers
626 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
858 views

How up-to-date is the Joel test? [closed]

I want to convince my partners that we should have a spec and that bugs should get fixed before writing new code. Should I refer to the Joel test? Do you think that the Joel test is up to date? I ...
5
votes
4answers
229 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 ...
2
votes
5answers
113 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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8answers
574 views

How do you make a manager understand Agile?

I have a problem with a senior director who doesn't understand iterative development (much less Agile). He is insistent that our software design specification (SDS) be complete before any line of code ...
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vote
4answers
884 views

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 ...
16
votes
8answers
422 views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
123 views

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 ...
11
votes
5answers
5k views

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 ...
3
votes
3answers
300 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. ...
2
votes
3answers
251 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 ...
7
votes
9answers
639 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 ...
10
votes
6answers
624 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 ...
1
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2answers
57 views

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 ...
5
votes
5answers
3k views

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 ...
12
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5answers
3k views

What grammatical tense should I write my specifications in?

We are currently writing functional and technical specifications in a two column format; summary sentence and technical detail. The details often refer to an appendix with diagrams, layout designs ...