Re: Don't should on me

Subject: Re: Don't should on me
From: Jim Grey <jwg -at- ACD4 -dot- ACD -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 1994 09:22:55 -0500

Glenn Crumpley wants to know:
>I learned that technical people are taught to write specifications using the
>word "shall" because this, supposedly, emphasizes that this is a requirement
>and not a suggestion or a wish or some such. I have never quite understood
>this. My main objection to "shall" is that I never hear it used in
>everyday speech. My dictionary labels it archaic. I don't see the
>distinction between saying, "The program shall xxxx..." and "The program
>will xxx..." Does anyone know how this usage began or why it persists?

Our software requirements "standard" is loosely based on some IEEE standard.
That standard mandates "shall" for statements of requirement. I don't know
why they chose "shall" over "will", but we sure as heck fell right into line
with that standard.

jim grey
jim grey |"Ain't nothin' better in the world, you know
jwg -at- acd4 -dot- acd -dot- com |Than lyin' in the sun, listenin' to the radio" - D. Boone
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