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EVOLUTIONARY SYSTEM FOR DATA PROCESSING. VOLUME 1. SYSTEM DESCRIPTION
IBM FEDERAL SYSTEMS DIV ROCKVILLE MD CENTER FOR EXPLORATORY STUDIES
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ESDP is a proposed system whose purpose is to acquire, store, retrieve, publish and disseminate all documentation, exclusive of graphics, concerned with a large computer programming activity. Documentation is deemed to consist, not only of final or formally published after-the-fact reports, but of working files, design and change notices, informal drafts, management reports -in fact, the entire recordable rationale underlying a programming system. Maximum attention has been concentrated on the means of acquiring and organizing documentation. Two major, complementary approaches are proposed. The first is called Program Analysis and is a process of extracting documentation directly from completed programs. The second is called Computer Assisted Interrogation and is a process of eliciting information directly from the programmer, through on-line communication terminals. The former provides canonical data about the programs structure. The latter provides explanatory material about all aspects of the program, and in the absence of canonical data, may provide tentative structural information as well. The conclusion of the study group is that ESDP is a feasible concept with present-day technology and that it will materially benefit using organizations in the production of programs and in guiding their evolution as requirements change. Its value will be greater for larger organizations, whose internal communications difficulties tend to cause truly gigantic inefficiencies. Its implementation as a support system for such projects would require a significant quantum of investment in order to produce these benefits and is predicated on the use of a computer system dedicated solely to the use of ESDP.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE