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  1. #76
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    Because that's not how requirements docs. are written. We have to go with the situation as it is rather than as we would like it. Buy in is going to be the biggest hurdle.
    Maybe (probably?) i'm in the ignorant minority, but i would disagree and posit that email is actually how requirements docs are written. in my experience, very rarely are the client and developer ever in the same town, let alone the same room. in my day job, i consider myself a "small web shop" of 1 man, albeit working for a company of thousands (meaning all my clients are in-house), and only once in the past year have i actually been able to sit down with a user and go over requirements. in every case, the application is spec'ed and changed and fleshed out with a flurry of emails. unfortunately, the same holds true in my freelance gigs. in this regard, an email/web-based solution would be fabulous, and ultimately more useful and with a broader appeal, i think. When faced with building a web application, which is by nature a rapid development process, nobody wants to create Word documents. To most people they seem like a beaureaucratic artifact.

    Again, i'm probably just woefully and detrimentally ignorant.

    "Buy-in" certainly is going to be the biggest hurdle. I would bet most small web shops, the type that could benefit most from your project, don't even use requirements documents. They operate, for better and certainly worse, just as I explained above.

  2. #77
    ********* Victim lastcraft's Avatar
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    Hi...

    Quote Originally Posted by josheli
    Maybe (probably?) i'm in the ignorant minority, but i would disagree and posit that email is actually how requirements docs are written.
    I used to find that when a client turned up with nothing, the developer would initiate an e-mail exchange. Whenever the clients had researched a project (in my London based case the majority) they would arrive in Word form. I am certainly not ruling out e-mail in the future (and I think it has been mentioned in this thread already). It's just that I had to punt with one solution for a first alpha.

    And being interactive, this version is easier to write a tutorial for.

    Quote Originally Posted by josheli
    Again, i'm probably just woefully and detrimentally ignorant.
    Users are never ignorant, but some of them do get neglected from time to time Don't worry, your comments have been taken on board and we'll see about adding e-mail transfer (in both Word and text form) later on.

    Quote Originally Posted by josheli
    "Buy-in" certainly is going to be the biggest hurdle. I would bet most small web shops, the type that could benefit most from your project, don't even use requirements documents. They operate, for better and certainly worse, just as I explained above.
    I think the biggest hurdle will be the clients. The developers only have to buy-in once after all, and if they don't already have QA or testing then this tool won't save 'em .

    yours, Marcus
    Marcus Baker
    Testing: SimpleTest, Cgreen, Fakemail
    Other: Phemto dependency injector
    Books: PHP in Action, 97 things

  3. #78
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    Every requirements doc I've ever gotten is either email, or some completely FUBARed format such as Word, with screenshots inserted, with comments in autotext headlines.
    Kyle Maxwell

  4. #79
    ********* Victim lastcraft's Avatar
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    Hi...

    Quote Originally Posted by [MaDMaX]
    ... or some completely FUBARed format such as Word, with screenshots inserted, with comments in autotext headlines.
    That's the format we are expecting.

    yours, Marcus
    Marcus Baker
    Testing: SimpleTest, Cgreen, Fakemail
    Other: Phemto dependency injector
    Books: PHP in Action, 97 things

  5. #80
    eschew sesquipedalians silver trophy sweatje's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lastcraft
    That's the format we are expecting.
    That was unexpected.

  6. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by lastcraft
    That's the format we are expecting.
    I wasn't aware that you were intending to parse and grab content from all of the flow charts, headlines, wordart and all of the other non-rich text stuff that Word does.
    Kyle Maxwell

  7. #82
    ********* Victim lastcraft's Avatar
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    Hi...

    Quote Originally Posted by [MaDMaX]
    I wasn't aware that you were intending to parse and grab content from all of the flow charts, headlines, wordart and all of the other non-rich text stuff that Word does.
    We aren't . We are pattern matching and altering just the bits that we want to. Everything else is preserved as is. It's very important that the tests and verbal/visual explanation sit right next to each other. The tool is to aid communication and that's best achieved by having all relevant information in the same locality.

    That's the big idea.

    yours, Marcus
    Marcus Baker
    Testing: SimpleTest, Cgreen, Fakemail
    Other: Phemto dependency injector
    Books: PHP in Action, 97 things

  8. #83
    SitePoint Enthusiast maetl's Avatar
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    The idea is to keep things simple - extracting viso diagrams, tables, spreadsheets etc, would be nice, but they are more specialized formats that generally illustrate particularly unique aspects of a solution concept...

    I think what we are looking for is the straightforward unambiguous representation of elements in a document. Bullet points, lists, highlighted phrases, etc... Stuff that someone with no particular specialization in modelling or design process/management etc can understand and write without having to understand formal software design techniques or how to use a diagramming tool...

    I think project communication can always benefit from simplicity and clarity, regardless of the sophistication of technical/spatial details involved.

  9. #84
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    Smile Sourceforge Project Created?

    In hopes of saving anyone finding this thread of interest some hunting time, it appears the project officially has a home now at http://sourceforge.net/projects/arbiter/.

  10. #85
    SitePoint Enthusiast Refresh's Avatar
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    It's been more than a year that the project has started, and after 6 months of almost inactivity, I would like to know if new people want to take part in it :-) You can check http://arbiter.sourceforge.net for more information.


    Have a good day!

    (this was a bump )

  11. #86
    ********* Victim lastcraft's Avatar
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    Hi.

    I am netless at home for a couple of weeks, and have been working on SimpleTest (a particular feature, file upload, was needed for Arbiter) and Phemto (should be finished soon).

    It's my fave project and I am working to reduce my load so as to rescusitate it. It's hibernating, but certainly not dead. And yes, I am very much after volunteers to help write it .

    yours, Marcus
    Marcus Baker
    Testing: SimpleTest, Cgreen, Fakemail
    Other: Phemto dependency injector
    Books: PHP in Action, 97 things

  12. #87
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    I'm thinking about starting a requirements project that sounds similar to arbiter, though starting at the opposite end with wiki/plaintext. The idea of choosing terms and feshing them out with links to nested requirements and tying to test case examples is similar however, as is the idea (in a further iteration) to import from MS Word.

    What's that status of arbiter? I might be willing to help resuscitate it. The privilege of working with Marcus would definitely be worth it. Thanks for SimpleTest and Php in Action, by the way.


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