I know firsthand that the most important aspect of a
specification is signoff. The spec that doesn't have signoff
by all involved parties (customer, programmer, and managers
in between) will cause arguments. The spec that does have
signoff will cause arguments, but these arguments can be
solved by stating "Aha, here it is in the Spec."
But this isn't to suggest that the Spec is written and
then placed under lexan glass in a humidity controlled
environment for all tourists to come and be awed by. Until
the deliverable is produced in final form, the Spec is a
living document. Getting to that final form can be a pain
with some Specs. I have one Spec come to mind where I
produced code (part of which some monks gave me some really
cool ideas for) that met every part of the Spec. The problem
was that the client kept getting error messages (that were
part of the Spec if an appropriate string wasn't entered).
In review, my code met every requirement of the Spec, but
the client had not met their end of the bargain. Guess who
wins that situation?
So, I changed the program's code so that the client would
not have to ensure that they had all of the data in their
database built properly. The entered string still had to be
verified, but it shows that signoff on a Spec doesn't mean
that the client knows what they want (and this was a very
detailed technical spec). I know that I've heard that
somewhere before, maybe college. :)
Lexicon I don't think anybody gets the Spec right the
first time, because the first time means that you have an
idea. And no matter how well-formed that idea is, it's still
not a set of electrons being beamed at your eyeballs in a
concrete form you can interact with.
ALL HAIL BRAK!!!
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