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Welcome to the web based collaboration area of the Specification Project. Specifications are an essential part of the development process. They serve as working base for:

Development (DEV)
DEV implements features based on the technical information covered in specifications.
User Experience (UX)
UX uses specifications to define the user interface (UI) and its interaction model.
Quality Assurance (QA)
QA derives Test Case Specifications based on specifications. They test implemented features against the specifications.
Documentation (DOCU)
DOCU writes the end-user documentation based on specifications.

I Want to Change Something in - Do I Have to Write a Specification?

In general the answer is YES. This applies to:

  • Features
  • Enhancements
  • Defects requiring the following type of changes:
    • Behavioral changes of the UI (e.g. changing a dialog from modal to modeless)
    • Visual changes of the UI (e.g. changing the icon size, the splash screen, the about box)
    • Configuration changes (e.g. changing application defaults such as Spellchecking ON/OFF)
  • Features, enhancements, defects which are already covered by an existing specification.

A specification needs NOT to be written if:

You do the following kind of changes:

  • Fixing a typo in the UI.
  • Rearranging UI controls without changing functionality.
  • The changes are not going to be integrated into the master.
    • The change is an Extension which is distributed separately to

If you are in doubt, whether you need a specification or not ask the responsible project lead of the corresponding application (see table below).

Application Project Lead
Writer Andreas Martens
Calc Niklas Nebel
Drawing Kai Ahrens
Impress Christian Lippka
Database Frank Schoenheit
Math Mathias Bauer
Chart Kai Ahrens
Framework Mathias Bauer
Other Martin Hollmichel

Before Writing a Specification -- What Else Do I have to Do?

You should be able to answer each of the following questions marked with the letter Q with YES:

Q1 [Feature/Enhancement]:
Does an unambiguously clear feature or enhancement request exists?

Q2 [Concept]:
For changes requiring modifications in more than one application: Is there a product concept available, which is understandable to the intended readership?

Q3 [Project-Resources]:
Do you have a project team? An feature is always being devoloped by an Implementation Team (i-Team). An i-Team consists at least of two distinct persons:

  • A developer (required)
  • A QA representative (required)
    Ask for a QA representative in the mailing list.
  • An User Experience member (optional, but required if the feature or bug fix affects the user interface or the behavior of the application)

Q4 [i-Team Agreement]:
Do all i-Team members agree on Q1 - Q3?

What happens if I can't answer all questions mentioned above, with Yes?
The consequence could be that your valuable work won't be integrated into

Write a Specification, Tell me How Can I Start? specifications are being developed on the following iterative process:

  • Plan
    • I-Team Kickoff
    • Detailed feature / sub-feature planning
    • First design sessions
  • Do
    • Create prototypes
    • Write specification
  • Review
    • i-Team reviews specification

Based on three essential rules R1: Complete R2: Clear R3: Simple

  • Improve
    • Reduction of defects in specification
    • Reduction of defects in implementation

More details on the process can be found here

Use the Ott.png Specification Template
Note: the template requires 2.02 or newer, make also sure that the proxy settings are configured correctly. They can be found under Tools/Options/Internet/Proxy.

  1. After you have downloaded the specification template check if all necessary pre-requisites for writing a specification are fulfilled. This avoids wasting resources and failures during the process of writing specifications.

What Else do I Have to Follow?

  1. It is strongly recommended to follow the The Three Golden Rules for Writing Specifications
  2. If need to do a compatitive analyses please follow the Guidelines for Accomplishing a Competitive Analysis on Feature Level

Feedback and comments

Feedback or comments are welcome please feel free to submit them to "dev at specs dot openoffice dot org"


This category has the following 5 subcategories, out of 5 total.




Pages in category "Specification"

The following 61 pages are in this category, out of 61 total.








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