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Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

A Framework for Communicability of Software Documentation

A Framework for Communicability of Software Documentation
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Author(s): Pankaj Kamthan (Concordia University, Canada)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 6
Source title: Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-026-4.ch249


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The role of communication is central to any software development. The documentation forms the message carrier within the communication infrastructure of a software project. As software development processes shift from predictive to adaptive environments and serve an ever more hardware diverse demographic, new communication challenges arise. For example, an engineer may want to be able to remotely author a document in a shell environment without the need of any special purpose software, port it to different computer architectures, and provide different views of it to users without making modifications to the original. However, the current state of affairs of software documentation is inadequate to respond to such expectations. In this article, we take the position that the ability of documents to be able to communicate at all levels intrinsically depends upon their representation. The rest of the article proceeds as follows. We first outline the background necessary for later discussion. This is followed by a proposal for a quality-based framework for representing software documentation in descriptive markup and application to agile software documentation. Next, challenges and avenues for future research are outlined. Finally, concluding remarks are given.

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