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<< Complexity in Software | Glossary - I >>

Glossary - A

<< Complexity in Software | Glossary - I >>
G l o s s a r y
Acceptance Test
Final functional testing used to evaluate the state of a product and determine its
readiness for the end-user. A `gateway' or `milestone' which must be passed.
Acceptance Criteria
The criteria by which a product or system is judged at Acceptance . Usually derived
from commercial or other requirements.
Alpha
The first version of product where all of the intended functionality has been
implemented but interface has not been completed and bugs have not been fixed.
API
Application Program Interface the elements of a software code library that interacts
with other programs.
Beta
The first version of a product where all of the functionality has been implemented and
the interface is complete but the product still has problems or defects.
Big-Bang
The implementation of a new system "all at once", differs from incremental in that the
transition from old to new is (effectively) instantaneous
Black Box Testing
Testing a product without knowledge of its internal working. Performance is then
compared to expected results to verify the operation of the product.
Bottom Up
Building or designing software from elementary building blocks, starting with the
smaller elements and evolving into a lager structure. See "Top Down" for contrast.
Checksum
A mathematical function that can be used to determine the corruption of a particular
datum. If the datum changes the checksum will be incorrect. Common checksums
include odd/even parity and Cyclic Redundancy Check (CRC).
CLI
Command Line Interface a type of User Interface characterised by the input of
commands to a program via the keyboard. Contrast with GUI.
CMM
The Capability Maturity Model a model for formal description of the five levels of
maturity that an organisation can achieve.
Critical Path
The minimum number of tasks which must be completed to successfully conclude a
phase or a project
Deliverable
A tangible, physical thing which must be "delivered" or completed at a milestone. The
term is used to imply a tactile end-product amongst all the smoke and noise.
DSDM
Dynamic Systems Development Methodology an agile development methodology
developed by a consortium in the UK.
Dynamic Analysis
White box testing techniques which analyse the running, compiled code as it executes.
Usually used for memory and performance analysis.
End-user
The poor sap that gets your product when you're finished with it! The people that will
actually use your product once it has been developed and implemented.
Feature creep
The development or a product in a piece-by-piece fashion, allowing a gradual
implementation of functionality without having the whole thing finished..
Glass Box Testing
Testing with a knowledge of the logic and structure of the code as opposed to "Black
Box Testing". Also known as "White Box Testing".
Gold Master
The first version of the software to be considered complete and free of major bugs.
Also known as "Release Candidate".
GUI
Graphical User Interface a type of User Interface which features graphics and icons
instead of a keyboard driven Command Line Interface (CLI qqv). Originally known as a
WIMP (Windows-Icon-Mouse-Pointer) interface and invented at Xerox PARC / Apple
/ IBM etc. depending on who you believe.
Heuristic
A method of solving a problem which proceeds by trial and error. Used in Usability
Engineering to define problems to be attempted by the end-user.
HCI
Human Computer Interaction the study of the human computer interface and how
to make computers more "user friendly".
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