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  1. #1
    Cocacola is offline Member
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    Red face What methodology to use for planning/developing a Language conversion project?

    I am trying to help my friend by creating a part of his on-going project. What i'm going to do is create a java parser to break up the java code into operators, parameters etc to build xml representation. Next I want to create a code generator to convert the parsed java code to XML conforming to the schema I've created. Finally I want to use an XML style-sheet to transform the XML into another programming language type. I hope this makes sense as I'm new to the area of programming. Basically I just wanted some advice on which methodology/model I should use for documenting/planning and developing this project. Is there some benefit to using Agile etc for instance? Thanks in Advance.

    - Andrew

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    DarrylBurke's Avatar
    DarrylBurke is offline Member
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    Default Re: What methodology to use for planning/developing a Language conversion project?

    If you're forever cleaning cobwebs, it's time to get rid of the spiders.

  3. #3
    Cocacola is offline Member
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    Default Re: What methodology to use for planning/developing a Language conversion project?

    Hi yes it seems no one can help me with this :(

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    quad64bit's Avatar
    quad64bit is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: What methodology to use for planning/developing a Language conversion project?

    What have you done so far?

    Using XML as an intermediary is interesting. I wonder what the limitations of doing it this way are - though, I guess if your schema is good enough, your translator could really go anywhere with it.

    With regard to your question - Agile is not a methodology for documentation, it is a methodology for development as a whole. As to which model you guys use to develop is up to you. You'll find in real life different shops which service different markets use different models for various reasons. Even shops in the same market use different models. Which model you choose is based on many variables - size of the company, size of the team, size of the project, lifecycle of the project, area of use for the project; the list goes on an on.

    Long story short, there are benefits and drawbacks to all of the models. Waterfall is the traditional old-school method which is still heavily used in big-iron dev shops and many formal industry setups. Agile is "more modern" and found in many smaller shops, web businesses, etc... There is no best model; perhaps some models fit better in some situations. What it boils down to is this: You need to identify the requirements of the project, and what the timeline for development and review is. Agile is iterative - it doesn't work as well for things like "Send this guy to the moon the first time without killing him" - it works better for "can you show us a proof of concept in 2 weeks and we'll refine our needs the the product's functionality from there?".

    How should you document this process? That's up to you. My software engineering class in college was joking called "200 page paper" because that's essentially what you created during the semester. There are many levels & phases to documentation. Off the top of my head, I would guess that you would start with something like a formal Requirements Document which specifies what the system should do, any constraints or limitations, and any other specific requirements. This document would be very general in terms how how things work, or omit this information completely. Then you'd want to have a Design Document. This is after the programmer has designed the basic system in is head & on paper, whiteboards, etc... This is the "how" document - it tells the reader specifically (what, how, why) every component of the system functions the way it does.

    Then you actually implement the program. From here you'll need some kind of a user manual, and, perhaps adjustments to the previous docs. There will inevitably be limitations you did not plan for, and these will come out in this phase. When all implementation is done and you have a finished product, this document goes a long way to describing how the requirements were met and how the system works, along with information about un-met requirements or plans for future development efforts.

    All of these documents are usually supplemented with charts, graphs, screenshots, sketches, mockups and diagrams. There are loads of diagrams - the Design doc usually requires things like UML class diagrams, flow charts, er diagrams for database information (if present), use-case diagrams, sequence diagrams (really important for concurrent apps or web systems), state diagrams, and any other relevant structure, behavior, and interaction diagrams.

    Additionally, for large projects you might need a planning documents which describes the timeline for the development itself, with allocation of resources (who is doing what for how long and until when). This doc is usually heavy with things like gantt charts, heuristics for calculating level of effort, risk analysis, cost estimates, etc...

    Now, you might only be required to do 10% of all this. Or more than what I described. If you're serious about this project, one thing is certain - you'll hate writing these documents by the time you're finished.
    Last edited by quad64bit; 10-30-2012 at 06:47 PM. Reason: typos

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