Re: Kovitz's "Practical Software Requirements" Was Re: expanding our range

Subject: Re: Kovitz's "Practical Software Requirements" Was Re: expanding our range
From: Tony Markos <ajmarkos -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 9 Dec 2004 17:10:59 -0800 (PST)

--- Ben Kovitz <bkovitz -at- nethere -dot- com> wrote:

....I recommended keeping flow diagrams as a natural
way to describe situations where stuff gets pumped
from one thing to another, each time getting
transformed in some way.

Tony "Focused On The Essential" Markos responds:

Ben, it is hard for me to see such. Properly done,
DFD's require proceeding in as top-down a fashion as
possible. Yet on page 11 of your book on software
requirements you state the following:

"Functional decomposition [which entails proceeding
in a top-down fashion] doesn't work because there
are many ways to divide a high-level function into
subfunctions, and there is no way to tell which of
those possible divisions are good or bad until
you've gotten to the lowest level of design."

The OOA people also feel that analysis needs to map to
design. (They say, for example, DFDs are invalid
because they do not directly lead to designs that
consider polymorphanism and inheritance.)

Analysis outputs do not have to map to design. If
they do, great, but the primary purpose of analysis is
discovery! It is far better to do a rigorous
discovery and then redraw for design than it is to do
an analysis that, while it maps directly to design,
has big logic holes in it because the analyst did not
use DFDs.

I have read several times that one - repeat ONE -
error in requirements that is not caught until
programming takes 1000 hrs to fix. Imagine the
(typical) cost of dozens - or hundreds - of missed

If you have a good (i.e., detailed and comprehensive)
DFD, how long does it take to redraw it to be anything
you want design wise - a few days max!

Tony Markos

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