The requirements process is fraught with danger from both a customer and supplier perspective: it is a widely held view that the majority of failed IT projects did so because of poorly conceived, badly managed or inadequately documented requirements.
The selection of inappropriate tools to "aid" with the requirements process only serves to compound the problem: many requirements tools seem to be over complicated providing feature rich implementations that have become so bloated that they have lost focus on the primary task of requirements capture: communication.
It is here that Xuse aims to make an impression: Requirement Zero for Xuse stipulates that "Xuse shall - above all else - focus on delivering a toolset that allows for effective communication of requirements between all the stakeholders".
The Xuse project - an Open Source initiative - aims to define an XML data model that will allow for the capture and management of software requirements from a use-case centric perspective. The project will provide XSLTs to create multiple views on this data model in a variety of formats such as HTML, PDF, SVG etc.
As all the data will be stored in XML it will also be possible to provide different information to different consumers: for example you may wish to document technical issues of why a software requirement will be difficult to implement but not show this information to the customer who is signing off the requirements. Additionally different people such as QA engineers and developers may require different views on the data - something that XSLT facilitates. It is also hoped that users of Xuse will be free to create their own custom views on the data simply by providing a new XSLT (RQ7).
What will Xuse provide?
As mentioned above, Xuse will provide XML schemas for an integrated requirements and use-case data model; XSLTs to provide views on this data model and a template project to provide a starting point for people adopting Xuse.
Xuse does not provide a GUI for requirements data entry and editing of use-cases so it is only suitable for people who are comforatble editing XML documents.
Who are the Xuse team?
Xuse was founded by the team at XML Solutions Ltd (www.xml-solutions.com). Xuse ties in with XML Solutions' philosophy of open standards and integration (as well as open source and XML of course).
Xuse version 01.00.00-RC2 now released
20th May 2010
The Xuse team are delighted to annouce the second candidate release for Xuse version 1.0.
This release includes:
- Updated documentation showing how to create and use the trace-report feature.
- Added new schema that describes the format of an external artefact trace report.
- Updated DTD for stock content that is included via XInclude.
- Defect #3001693: Added warning if the Graphviz version is not supported. Older versions of Graphviz may not produce the correct rendering for SVG images - currently need Graphviz version 2.22+
- Defect #3001697: Fixed PDF image rendering issue under Linux. Changed SVG incorporatio to be a instream object to solve path resolution issues.
- Incorporated remaining Slovak phrases. Translations courtesy of Tomas Klacko.
- Defect #3001577: Fixed minor annoyance regarding the validation report.
- Incorporated remaining German traslation. Courtesy of Florian Haag.
NB: This is a development release - please make sure you have backed up your work before using it.