RE: Data Flow Diagrams vs Regular Flow Charts

Subject: RE: Data Flow Diagrams vs Regular Flow Charts
From: "Fred Ridder" <docudoc -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 26 Mar 2005 11:56:43 -0500

Oh, boy! Oh, joy! Yet another "explanation" of DFDs
using the *exact*same*words*: "rigorously discover
essential end-user tasks and their interrelationships".

In your other reply to Kelly Oja (really a pseudo-reply
because you didn't really answer the issues that were
raised) you have at least admitted that "Sometimes, Oja,
I get tired of answering the same question over-and-over
again," but I submit that the question keeps getting
asked because you never actually *answer* it. People
keep asking for an *explanation* and all we ever get is
a parroting of the same small handful of catch phrases
that clearly are not doing the job of communicating
whatever it is you really mean. (Some would say that
one of the qualitative measure of a good technical
communicator vs. a hack tech writer is the ability to
recognize when one's writing is ineffective for the
audience and to adjust accordingly.) You may be tired
of writing the same answer over and over, but I can
assure you that some of us on the list are at least as
tired of reading the same meaningless phrases over
and over and over. Enough, already!

My opinions only; I don't speak for Intel.
Fred Ridder
Parsippany, NJ

From: Tony Markos <ajmarkos -at- yahoo -dot- com>
Reply-To: Tony Markos <ajmarkos -at- yahoo -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 26 Mar 2005 06:53:04 -0800 (PST)

Oja (Kelly):

You asked about the differences between Data Flow
Diagrams and regular [logic] flowcharts.

As someone else posted, one can say that they kind of
look the same. However, that is where the similarity
stops; the two have radically different application.

Logical flow charts are primarily a mind-concentrating
device used to nail down a detailed design.

Also, those of us in the analysis community commonly
speak of "level-of-abstraction" when discussing
diagramming techniques. Logic flow charts are
primarily a lower-level of abstraction technique.

Data Flow Diagrams are primarily a mind-expanding
technique used in analysis to rigorously discover
essential end-user tasks and their interrelationships.
Also, Data Flow Diagrams are a higher-level-of
abstraction technique.

Bottom-line: Think discovery vs design - two
completely different endeavors.

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