Title page for ETD etd-09082012-040548
|Type of Document
||Stevens, K. Todd
||A taxonomy for the evaluation of computer documentation
||Master of Science
|Arthur, James D.
|Henry, Sallie M.
|Nance, Richard E.
|Date of Defense
Software quality is a highly visible topic in the software engineering community. In response to
assessing the quality of the documentation of software, this thesis presents a taxonomy of documentation characteristics which can be used to evaluate the quality of computer documentation.
Previous work in the area has been limited to individual characteristics of documentation and
English prose in general and not organized in such fashion as to be usable in an evaluation procedure. This thesis takes these characteristics, adds others, and systematically establishes a hierarchical structure of characteristics that allow one to assess the quality of documentation. The tree structure has three distinct levels (viz. Qualities, Factors, and Quarzzüierr), with a root node (or
highest characteristic) of Documentation Adequacy. The Qualities are abstract, non-measurable
characteristics. The Factors are characteristics that support the assessment of the Qualities; Qualizier
are decomposed into Factors. The Quantyiers, which are measurable document characteristics,
support the assessment of the Factors. In the thesis, the levels are described and then the characteristics
are each defined in terms of evaluation of documentation quality. Finally, an example
application is presented as the evaluation taxonomy is tailored to a specific set of documents, those
generated by the Automated Design Description System (ADDS).
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