April 16, 2007

Software is not just the Computer Programs

Currently, I'm helping myself with my Software Engineering class. So, I would like to share with you what I've learned. And maybe this could help for your better understanding on what is the real meaning of a Software. Owh, I'm going to be serious on this. When talking about software, some people always refer it as the executable files. I mean the '.exe' files for windows or other executable files in other operating system which I'm referring it as computer programs. Actually, software is not just the computer programs but also all associated documentation and configuration data that is needed to make this programs to operate correctly. Now I've sound like the lecturer hahahah...

Anyway, a software system usually consist of a number of separate programs, configuration files, system documentation, user documentation, and even also web sites for users to download recent product information or updates.

  • Configuration files: is used to set up these computer programs.
  • System documentation: describes then structure of the system
  • User documentation: the document which explains how to use the system
By all means, software products consist of developed programs and all associated documentation. The essential product attributes are maintainability, dependability, efficiency and acceptability. Can you see it clearly now? Yes, It's not just the computer programs. It is all the stuff associated with it.

So, if you think on developing a software. You should also think about all the things that will be needed around it including the documentations. I always use these documentation to learn on how do I use certain software. A software with poor documentation is like an unfinished software. It might be useful (for the programmer) but is going to be useless coz people don't know how to use it... Lol..

While surfing around the net, I found this cartoon about Software Engineering Nightmare on kunki.org... enjoy!!

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