Formal Development Environment WG

Summary no. 1:
25 Nov 1998 - 21 Dec 1998
Date: 21 Dec 1998
Rudi Chiarito
Formal Development Environment WG

Erm, yes, this is not exactly a weekly update. There are a few good reasons for that, though. There was really nothing much I could say because I spent the past weeks examining many possible solutions for each of the issues the documentation process will need to address. I had to investigate some more about advanced uses of SGML, DSSSL, architectural forms and related tools, which meant downloading, printing and/or reading a lot of documents. Oh, I had to evaluate "on the road" most of the solutions as well. Anyway, I think I have come to a decent solution and, while refining it, I have started to implement it.

There are both a short-term and a long-term plan that are gradually taking shape. The former covers the next month or so and is aimed at producing a basic version of the documentation system. The latter, on the other hand, will see a complete documentation system and a set of formal methods for analysis, design, coding and testing. Such set is probably going to be off-loaded to a Software Process Working Group, a "child", so to speak, of the FDE Working Group.

Anyway, here's a slightly more detailed progress report:

  • The basic client/server architecture of the documentation system has been settled down (see Report no. 1: Documentation Plan Part I for more details)
  • I have written DTDs for working groups, member lists and summaries. They went through a few revisions, I guess they're almost final but I nevertheless expect them to be reworked a bit further once they're publicly available and everybody starts to use them.
  • Most of the DSSSL stylesheets for the pages are done. They're really neat and can do all sorts of tricks, like getting membership info from the database file and output it in the HTML code. Right now I'm reorganizing the code into libraries and modules to account for easier customization.
  • Part II of the Documentation Plan is being written and revised. This is going to be quite larger than Part I because it deals with many implementation details. I'm doing many experiments with Makefiles and shell scripts for automatic document processing. Unfortunately the CVS server is not running yet, so my work has been slowed down a bit.
  • Gabriel Hauber is currently busy with his wife taking care of their new-born baby. Congratulations! Is that the first KOSH baby? I expect Gabriel to be back sometime next year because he's also relocating to his home region again, IIRC.
  • Andrew Wood has joined the Working Group. He has working experience with Object-Oriented Software Analysis and related topics, I'm sure his contribution will help the development of KOSH.
  • "You've got mail", featuring my goddess Meg Ryan, is currently being screened in US theaters (cinemas for us Europeans). Despite a few negative reviews, I'm going to see it when it opens here (Christmas day). So should you!