Re: As a "general rule"?

Nobody Here wrote:
rickman <gnuarm@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Guy Macon wrote:
rickman wrote:

What does a requirement mean when it is stated as a "general rule"?

I find it amazing that engineers who's entire job is dealing with specs
and requirements and hard facts will generate a formal requirement that
"handbook xyz be followed as a general rule".

They have taught us that a requirement should be unambiguous and
testable. I find this type of requirement to be neither. Anyone else
find this sort of irrational behaviour in engineers?

There is nothing rational about making everything a requirement and
not including any suggestions/guidelines. Nor would it be rational
to insist that those suggestions/guidelines be treated as requirements.

I don't agree at all. But just for the sake of argument, why do you
say that?

Because not everything in a specification is necessarily a requirement.
I'd like you to write a progam in C that prints hello world (a requirement)
and I'd like you to write it in accordance with these coding standards
as a general rule. That recognises that the coding standards may not
apply to every eventuality in the code you produce, but they should
be taken as a guideline.

I design pieces of electronics that have a specification as to how they
should behave in detail, but part of that is the "general rule" that
they should be built in a manner that is safe and employs good design
and construction practices. That's usually an unspoken "general rule"
but it's there, none the less. It would not be possible for a specification
to detail the every last thing I should do to ensure that, much of it
has to be left to my technical and professional competence.

Is it really a "general rule" that your designs are "safe"? Isn't that
a requirement?

As to the "employs good design and construction practices" guideline,
we get that all the time and they are ignored. Why? Because there is
no definition to the phrase. Without an unambigous criteria, it can't
be verified. If you can't verify it, then it is not a requirement.

So in reality the "goodness" of the design is up to you. If there are
any aspects that need to be verified, then they need to be stated in
rules of some sort. There are written commercial practices just for

I especially find it amusing that anyone would work off of "unspoken"