RE: Ever see this word used this way?

Subject: RE: Ever see this word used this way?
From: "Harry Bacheler" <hbacheler -at- geo -dot- census -dot- gov>
To: "TECHWR-L" <TECHWR-L -at- LISTS -dot- RAYCOMM -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 1999 14:38:44 -0500

To All

It is not mentioned what the word is that is in question.

I am assuming that the acronym FRS means "Functional Requirements
Specification". I will also assume that the word being questioned is -
decomposed - (with a software view of things).

This response is in two parts:

Part 1 - definition and application of the word 'decompose'.
Part 2 - definition of a technique to 'decompose' a functional requirements
specification (FRS).


Part 1 -- definition and application of the word 'decompose'.

Using the acronym FRS and the word 'decomposition' together in the statement
quoted leads me to believe that the intent is to take a functional
requirement specification that is narrative in format, broad in scope, and
meaning different things to different people and defining 'specific software
functional operational specifications' for the design, development,
validation, and implementation of software components.

If so, 'decomposition' is a term that has been used when a software group is
looking at an application that was written several years ago (i.e.,
assembler, FORTRAN, JOVIAL, COBOL) where all of the software (code) was
contained in ONE source file.

In order to adapt the code to the newer (object-oriented) environment, the
'spaghetti-code' had to be examined, modules broken down to their elemental
parts, and SEPARATE software modules generated.

The 'decomposition' of a 20,000 line source file would result in many
different source files, each having a single purpose, with "EXTRN" or
"ENTRY" , or similar like additions to the software source code to allow for
separate compilation and linking.

As I was a programmer from 1970-1989, the term is very familiar to me. I
had to do a LOT of decomposition in assembler and COBOL programs.

I do not currently have access to a dictionary/encyclopedia of Computer
science terms, so this will have to do.

Therefore --

Merriam-Webster has this definition

Refer to definition 1 --


Main Entry: de·com·pose
Pronunciation: "dE-k&m-'pOz
Function: verb
Etymology: French décomposer, from dé- de + composer to compose
Date: circa 1751
transitive senses
1 : to separate into constituent parts or elements or into simpler compounds
<decompose water by electrolysis> <decompose a word into its base and
2 : ROT
intransitive senses : to break up into constituent parts by or as if by a
chemical process : DECAY, ROT <fruit decomposes>
synonym see DECAY
- de·com·pos·abil·i·ty /-"pO-z&-'bi-l&-tE/ noun
- de·com·pos·able /-'pO-z&-b&l/ adjective
- de·com·po·si·tion /(")dE-"käm-p&-'zi-sh&n/ noun


Part 2 - definition of a technique to 'decompose' a functional requirements
specification (FRS).

If there is any interest in how I go about decomposing a functional
requirements specification, I will write up the process that I use which is
base on a "requirements", constraints", and "information" matrix.

I have been using this technique in an informal, get it done", fashion for
the past 20 years, and it has worked well for me.

It is an approach that can be addressed to just about anything.


I hope that the above has been helpful

Harry M. Bacheler, Jr.
Sr. Systems Analyst/Technical Documentation

> -----Original Message-----
> From: bounce-techwr-l-20951 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
> [mailto:bounce-techwr-l-20951 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com]On Behalf Of Kevin
> McGowan
> Sent: Thursday, December 09, 1999 2:53 PM
> Subject: RE: Ever see this word used this way?
> I've never seen this before. I can only guess that the original author was
> translating a thought from another language to English with help of a poor
> dictionary or something...
> Who wrote this? Is English this person's first language? I wonder if the
> process described in the FRS is to be divided up, and its various
> components
> to be added to other software products?
> I would definitely edit this one, use "divide" or "separate" or even
> "partition". I'd hate to see this phrase be translated into another
> might disturb some customers who don't want their software
> "rotting."
> -kevin
> John Posada wrote:
> > "The processes described in the FRS* must be
> > decomposed into software products, which run on the
> > target hardware."

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