November 30, 2003

The importance of documentation

IBM Developer Works supplies The importance of documentation.

This reminded me of the cornerstones of information application development, three of which rely on documentation. The cornerstones are: usable, maintainable, reliable, and repeatable. If an application is not usable it is nothing and somebody wasted their time and possibly their or somebody-else's money. If it is not maintainable (needing documentation) it will may not last long and it may be rebuilt from scratch. If it is not reliable, it will need to be debugged and portions rebuilt (documentation helps greatly in debugging as well as making sure an application is reliable). Lastly if an application is repeatable it is often worth repeating, the documentation is in place and usable, and the application is also (often) modular and easily malleable for other environments.

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