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Open source specs

I have an idea for an app.
I have been working as a programmer for the past 5 years, which makes me relatively experienced.

Unfortunately, I never wrote specs, except for maybe a sheet of paper where I concoctoned an idea to keep an entry level programmer busy.

Specs bridge the gap between the blurry idea on your brain and the code on your screen. I know Joel has written the specs article with a nifty example, but I need more. Do you know of any opensource site that has specs to the projects involved? Something like, "I want our browser to have one address bar and one search bar. The search bar will be 12px width because...".

Arigato!

Ogami Itto
Thursday, August 12, 2004

One possible example :

http://geekkit.bcit.ca/xui/docs/design-docs/web-information-design.pdf

Code Monkey
Thursday, August 12, 2004

With 5 year's programming experience, you must have seen some really good and some really bad specs by now.

Some of the Internet RFCs convey the designers' intentions very well.  http://www.ietf.org/

Write tightly and accurately, (like your excellent code), and your coders will love you. Imagine you are paying for every word (you are) and make every word count.

If you are writing for your own benefit, consider writing the spec to form the basis for the application's help file. Good help files don't contain digressions and design choice agony.

trollop
Thursday, August 12, 2004

Most confusion around specs comes from people that are not sure what they are going to use the spec for. Since you'll be your own customer, why don't you write a one sentence "mission statement" (can it, nerds) stating your intentions and goals for the spec. It should clear things up.

Just me (Sir to you)
Friday, August 13, 2004

Have you considered UML? It's easy to think you need to over-use it, but it can be a good base, and a decent UML tool will let you sketch out ideas using it very easily.

Andrew Cherry
Friday, August 13, 2004

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