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View Poll Results: Do you agree that defined used incorrectly:
Yes 0 0%
No 3 100.00%
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Old 07-20-2018, 12:42 AM   #1
bkelly
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Use of word define in requirements


Please consider the use of the word define as used in the requirement for some software.

Quote:
The app shall define the equation for color as defined in reference ABC.
Just for reference the first Google response has:
Quote:
1. a statement of the exact meaning of a word, especially in a dictionary.
2. the degree of distinctness in outline of an object, image, or sound, especially of an image in a photograph or on a screen.
My position is that the first use is incorrect for two reasons. The program is to use it to set the equation within the app as specified in the document, not define it. Second there can be only one definition, that in the reference.

I have tried my first poll. Lets see what happens.
Edit: Oops, the poll question used defined rather than define. I don't see how to edit it.

Last edited by bkelly; 07-20-2018 at 12:45 AM.
 
Old 07-20-2018, 08:45 AM   #2
MensaWater
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Since "define" is "defined" with more than one meaning focusing on the first meaning is "definitely" not correct.
 
Old 07-20-2018, 11:12 AM   #3
scasey
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Quote:
The app shall define the equation for color as defined in reference ABC.
is using define as a verb, not a noun.
Both of the definitions you posted appear to be definitions of define as a noun.

I find this:
Quote:
to determine or identify the essential qualities or meaning of
which fits with the "The app shall define..."

(I used merriam-webster.com)
 
Old 07-20-2018, 05:41 PM   #4
dugan
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Quote:
The app shall define the equation for color as defined in reference ABC.
I am extremely confused as to what this is supposed to mean.

Is the requirement to just retype into "the app", verbatim, what's written down in "reference ABC"?
 
Old 07-20-2018, 05:49 PM   #5
scasey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dugan View Post
I am extremely confused as to what this is supposed to mean.

Is the requirement to just retype into "the app", verbatim, what's written down in "reference ABC"?
That might be the case, but what's more likely, in my experience, is that "reference ABC" contains some narrative or pseudo code about the "definition" that needs to be implemented in the "app"

I'm reminded of a project I was on in the last century where the requirements were very clear about the calculation the program was to perform, but neither of us in the 2-man "data processing" department could figure out how to code it. It turned out to be easier to go back to the engineer that had provided the specs and teach him BASIC so he could write the one-line formula required.
 
Old 07-20-2018, 07:03 PM   #6
dugan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkelly View Post
My position is that the first use is incorrect for two reasons.
Highly relevant question: are the requirements language-agnostic, or are they meant for a programming language where "define" has a technical meaning?
 
Old 07-23-2018, 12:03 PM   #7
bkelly
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Dugan: The app sets the color equation IAW (In Accordance With) the reference material. (My words, not the document author, but reasonably certain.) This is a display application and the displayed colors are important.

Scasey: Re
Quote:
It turned out to be easier to go back to the engineer that had provided the specs and teach him BASIC so he could write the one-line formula required.
Understood and agreed. Many people that have never written code “think” they are the cat’s meow at writing requirements. They seldom change their opinion about themselves.

Dugan: The intent is very much to be language-angnositc. The meaning is definitely not similar to C language defines.
 
  


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