acm-header
Sign In

Communications of the ACM

Communications of the ACM

On the inevitable intertwining of specification and implementation


Contrary to recent claims that specification should be completed before implementation begins, this paper presents two arguments that the two processes must be intertwined. First, limitations of available implementation technology may force a specification change. For example, deciding to implement a stack as an array (rather than as a linked list) may impose a fixed limit on the depth of the stack. Second, implementation choices may suggest augmentations to the original specification. For example, deciding to use an existing pattern-match routine to implement the search command in an editor may lead to incorporating some of the routine's features into the specification, such as the ability to include wild cards in the search key. This paper elaborates these points and illustrates how they arise in the specification of a controller for a package router.

The full text of this article is premium content


 

No entries found

Log in to Read the Full Article

Sign In

Sign in using your ACM Web Account username and password to access premium content if you are an ACM member, Communications subscriber or Digital Library subscriber.

Need Access?

Please select one of the options below for access to premium content and features.

Create a Web Account

If you are already an ACM member, Communications subscriber, or Digital Library subscriber, please set up a web account to access premium content on this site.

Join the ACM

Become a member to take full advantage of ACM's outstanding computing information resources, networking opportunities, and other benefits.
  

Subscribe to Communications of the ACM Magazine

Get full access to 50+ years of CACM content and receive the print version of the magazine monthly.

Purchase the Article

Non-members can purchase this article or a copy of the magazine in which it appears.