Re: When Worlds Collide: McConnell meets Hacko

Subject: Re: When Worlds Collide: McConnell meets Hacko
From: Janice Gelb <janiceg -at- marvin -dot- eng -dot- sun -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Thu, 22 Jun 2000 13:02:56 -0700 (PDT)

In article ORG -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com, droberts63 -at- earthlink -dot- net (dan roberts) writes:
>
> McConnell advises that, although doc development extends through the
> development life-cycle, the bulk of user doc can be completed in the
> early stages of the SW development cycle, pretty much after the SW
> prototype is completed. The user doc serves not only as end-user doc
> but also as a detailed functional spec used during the SW architecture,
> development, and QA phases.
>
> Hackos contends that the initial phases of doc development should be
> evoted to analysis and planning, including a detailed doc plan--but
> little in the way of writing information that the end-user will
> ultimately see.
>

My immediate response is colored by the fact that I
have mainly worked in large organizations. That said,
my feeling is that if they want someone to write a
functional spec, they should hire or assign someone
to do that. Obviously, the spec needs to be written
early because so many groups depend on it to do
their own jobs, and the engineers themselves should
have it to write the code against.

However, specs are not user's guides. The reason Hackos
recommends that writers not write detailed information
for the end user in early stages of the project is that
nearly all of it will have to be rewritten as the
product changes.


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