Re: I've been wrong all along...more pictures less words

Subject: Re: I've been wrong all along...more pictures less words
From: John Posada <jposada01 -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: Richard Lewis <tech44writer -at- yahoo -dot- com>, Daniel Ng <kjng -at- gprotechnologies -dot- com>, techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Fri, 10 Aug 2007 07:29:32 -0700 (PDT)

> As a TW, I do not write nothing. My job is to document the
> comprehensive, integrated whole for enterprise-wide systems
> efforts. Text is terrible for trying to document software systems.
> Trying to write sofware requirements specs is trying to use a
> one dimensional tool to document a three dimensional entity.
> It is impossible to be rigorous with just text.

There's a difference between writing "software requirements specs" and to "document a software system".

The specs come before it exists--it's what you want and what you want it to do over an extended period of time (it's not a system yet) and to document a software system comes after it's in place -- it's what you have and what it does at a particular moment in time.

> At the same time, the loosey-goosey flowcharting techniques that
> everone else I know trys to use also fall flat. Graphics are the way -
> but, unless you just want to talk about what the system "kind of
> does", data flow diagrams are an absolute necessity. It is very
> black and white.

Yeah, DFDs (though I prefer Object Flow diagrams) are one type, but it is a specific type of diagram meant to convey a specific type of infomation. To avoid being one-dimensional, at last in my experience, you have to add others, my preference being, in order of importance, Use Case, Interaction, and State Machine diagrams.

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