Whether your software development process is the antique waterfall method or something more razzle-dazzle like the latest agile methodology, you have got to be creating some minimal levels of artifacts like documentation. That is, of course, excepting those who continue to use no methodology, or the methodology of “code and fix.” While much attention has been paid to the excessive weight of artifacts, including documentation, in recent years, little has been done to talk about strategies which still meet the need for a common understanding of the software, while at the same time minimize the effort required to create and maintain documentation.
One technique which deserves some attention is the idea of including documentation by reference. In other words, refer folks to a more comprehensive source for the detailed information while maintaining a reasonable summary in the document itself.
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