Problem Frames: Analysing and Structuring Software Development Problems

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Addison-Wesley/ACM Press, 2001 - Computers - 390 pages

"Understanding and using problem frames will likely become an essential skill of all good software system designers. Jackson's book provides a beautifully crafted pathway into this world."

David Garlan, Associate Professor, Computer Science Department, Carnegie Mellon University

"In 'Problem Frames' I believe that Michael Jackson has taken the mysticism that surrounds design patterns and constructed a much more accessible technique utilizing a frame metaphor."
Warren Keuffel, Senior Contributing Editor, Software Development Magazine

It is tempting when approaching a software development problem to rush headlong into the trap of thinking too soon about the solution. Software development problems are about the world outside the computer the real environment in which the system must have its effect and demand consideration of the surrounding characteristics, relationships and context. Problem frames are a tool for classifying, analyzing and structuring such software development problems. Whereas object oriented patterns are primarily concerned with solutions, problem frames focus on the problem itself, enabling you to understand and address it clearly and directly.

This book is a must-have for all IT professionals facing software development problems on a daily basis. If you are a systems analyst or requirements engineer it will provide an essential, practical guide from the task of identifying the problem to making the descriptions needed to resolve it.

It will help you:

  • decompose complex problems into simplersub-problems and see how the subproblems fit together
  • build up a repertoire of simple, clear and easily applicable problem classes which you can access and reuse, drawing on the experience associated with each class

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Contents

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About the author (2001)

Michael Jackson has worked in software for over thirty years, during which time he has been involved in all aspects of program and system development. In 1971 he started his own company offering courses, project support and tools for software developers. He now works as an independent consultant in London, and works part time in software development at AT&T Research in New Jersey. He played the leading role in developing the JSP and JSD methods of program and system develpment.

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