Re: Writing a functional spec?

Subject: Re: Writing a functional spec?
From: Randall Raemon <rlr -at- HAL -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 26 Apr 1995 12:45:58 -0500

Sue MacIntosh writes:

> After years of writing software user manuals, I'm finally in a
> position to be involved at the beginning of a project, and I've been
> asked to write and maintain the functional spec. Every tech writer's
> dream, right? There's one problem. I don't even know where to begin!
> Can any of you recommend reading material so I can research what I
> should be writing? What does a functional spec actually describe and
> what are its components? Are there engineering or software societies
> that have standard formats for functional specs?

Your best bet would be to get a copy of the IEEE Software Standards.
This is available as a single volume, or as individual publications.
The single volume collection is more cost effective.

The IEEE order desk number is 1-800-678-4333. They take the usual
charge cards, and have discounts for IEEE members. From the Web
page: the order number is SH-94213, ISBN 1-55937-442-X, US$124.50,
Software Engineering Standards Collection, 1994 edition.

The next alternative(?) would be a copy of the DoD software
standards, in MIL-STD-498 (or whatever it was that replaced 2167A).
I don't recommend this one unless there is some background knowledge
of how DoD software processes work. The document descriptions don't
really have explanation, which the IEEE stuff does somewhat provide.

Have fun...

Randall Raemon
rlr -at- hal -dot- com

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