RE: Value of design documents (was: New TECHWR-L Poll Question)

Subject: RE: Value of design documents (was: New TECHWR-L Poll Question)
From: "Le Vie, DonaldX S" <donaldx -dot- s -dot- le -dot- vie -at- intel -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 2001 08:46:43 -0800

Don't confuse a formal specification language (used with Requirements
specifications) with a "scholarly writing style" that exudes "snobbishness
and professional conceit." In the language of specifications, a "formal"
language is one that is heavily weighted with mathematics, formula, notation
with minimal text, not obfuscated text littered with sesquipedalianism.

You get that with "natural" specification languages...and that's been the
problem with specifications written in natural language. Unfortunately,
formal language, while more exact and precise, is more exclusionary to many
of the intended audience. On the other hand, "natural" language is more
inclusive of the intended audience, but because writing styles within the
natural language vary, they set up conditions for "snobbishness and
professional conceit" well as ambiguity, inaccuracy and inconsistency.

Donn Le Vie

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