[Haskell-cafe] Re: Maybe off-topic -- Writing contracts or software specifications

Peter Verswyvelen bugfact at gmail.com
Wed Apr 15 12:21:51 EDT 2009

There's one sentence I remember from some Extreme Programming books I read:
"the customer only knows what he wants when he gets it"


On Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 11:27 AM, Achim Schneider <barsoap at web.de> wrote:

> "Richard O'Keefe" <ok at cs.otago.ac.nz> wrote:
> > If you have a low level of trust, you'll need a great level of
> > detail, and it still won't help.
> >
> Heh. Keep your friends close, your enemies closer.
> Freelancing, I was always paid per hour, not per feature. From my
> experience, writing something like "The contractor will work closely
> with an employee designated by Foo to ensure formal and informal, known
> or yet to be discovered, specifications are implemented" is the best
> thing you can do. If you have it, mention your QA and its guidelines.
> If you don't have it, get both. [1]
> It's more than enough to boot a bad teamplayer out of his contract,
> doesn't induce frowns in top coders (SNAFU, as those are the ones you
> want to hire), does not risk mis-specifying requirements (which, with
> legal backing, is also SNAFU) and doesn't take longer and/or cost more
> to work out than the program itself (SNAFU, again). Be sure that not
> only bugs are fixed, but the reasons they appeared in the first place,
> too: That's the secret people writing space shuttle control software and
> similar use.
> [1] Even if it's just one guy working out things like "Every function
>    must be documented" and me getting a bug report saying "Help text
>    does not mention how to display help text".
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