Re: best way to divide & conquer gnarly task in sw app?

Subject: Re: best way to divide & conquer gnarly task in sw app?
From: Mitchell Maltenfort <mmalten -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 3 Aug 2005 12:44:31 -0400

That's awfully abstract, but I'll take a swipe at it anyway.

I have at home a statistical handbook, a very useful tool, and it's
arranged into a format much like the 4-way one you suggest. As memory
serves (it's at home and I'm not there right now), it's something like

Comparisons of independent variables
Comparisions of dependent variables
Comparisions of more than two dependent variables.

What I'd try in your case is actually writing SIX chapters.

The first one would be very sketchy, it's only purpose would be to
show the reader the overall trajectory and compexity of the procedure.
No if-then statements, no offshoots. At the end of this introduction,
I'd describe the four cases and recommend that the reader go
specifically to that chapter.

Next would follow the four chapters, each one describing a case. The
reader is presumably only going to read one at a time, although he may
be dealing with different cases at different times. It's the old
question of minimal space versus maximal clarity, and clarity should
usually win.

At the end of each chapter would be a list of potential off-shoot
tasks. I'd put the two sets of offshoot tasks -- 'search academic'
and 'search both academic or non-academic' together in the last
chapter (which may be an appendix). From what you've described of the
problem, I'd be skeptical of the assumption that the non-academic
person would be uninterested in what an academic would do. The only
difference in resources is that the academic may have access to
institutional journal subscriptions that the non-academic would not,
but the non-academic can still see the abstracts and could still get
the article in one of three ways: visit a nearby university, order it
online for a fee, or ask the author (many of whom have web pages and
all of whom should have contact email listed on the abstract) to send
a copy.


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best way to divide & conquer gnarly task in sw app?: From: Kelly M. Kremin
Re: best way to divide & conquer gnarly task in sw app?: From: Brian Gordon

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