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A view-based approach for improving software documentation practices

: Bayer, J.; Muthig, D.


IEEE Computer Society:
13th IEEE International Conference and Workshop on the Engineering of Computer-Based Systems, ECBS 2006. Proceedings : March 27th-30th, 2006, Potsdam, Germany
Los Alamitos: IEEE Computer Society, 2006
ISBN: 0-7695-2546-6
S.269-278 : Ill., Lit.
International Conference and Workshop on the Engineering of Computer-Based Systems (ECBS) <13, 2006, Potsdam>
Fraunhofer IESE ()
software documentation; separation of concerns; stakeholder orientation; aspect-oriented approach; experimental software engineering

Documentation is an integral part of a software system. It contains the information that is necessary to effectively and successfully develop, use, and maintain a system. In practice, however, the creation of appropriate documentation is largely neglected.
This paper investigates the reasons for this neglect, presents view-based software documentation, our approach to improve the current situation, and reports on empirical evidence in support of the presented approach. Because the quality of documentation depends on its usage, view-based software documentation exploits existing software modeling techniques to provide all users of documentation with the documentation they require for performing their tasks.
View-based software documentation has been empirically validated in a series of experiments and case studies that showed that the approach improves the completeness, correctness, and usefulness of produced and maintained documentation. One of the experiments is described here in more detail.