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Summary Ready-to-use Software Engineering Templates
Categories techcomm, design, construction, process, requirements, testing
License BSD License
Owner(s) jrobbins

ReadySET: Project Overview


What problem does this project address?
Software development projects require a lot of "paperwork" in the form of requirements documents, design documents, test plans, schedules, checklists, release notes, etc. It seems that everyone creates the documents from a blank page, from the documents used on their last project, or from one of a handful of high-priced proprietary software engineering template libraries. For those of us who start from a blank page, it can be a lot of work and it is easy to forget important parts. That is not a very reliable basis for professional engineering projects.
What is the goal of this project?
ReadySET is an open source project to produce and maintain a library of reusable software engineering document templates. These templates provide a ready starting point for the documents used in software development projects. Using good templates can help developers work more quickly, but they also help to prompt discussion and avoid oversights.
What are some key features that define the product?
  • High-quality outlines, sample text, and checklists.
  • Uses simple web technologies: Pure XHTML and CSS.
  • Templates for many common software engineering documents. Including:
    • Project proposal template
    • Project plan template
    • Use case template
    • QA plan template
    • Several design templates
    • System test case template
    • Release checklist template
What makes this product different from others?
This is an open source project that you are welcome to use for free and help make better. Existing packages of software engineering templates are highly costly and biased by the authorship of only a few people, by vendor-client relationships, or by the set of tools offered by a particular vendor.
These templates are in pure XHTML with CSS, not a proprietary file format. That makes them easier to edit and to track changes using freely available tools and version control systems. The templates are designed to always be used on the web; they use hyperlinks to avoid duplicating information.
The templates are not burdened with information about individual authorship or document change history. It is assumed that professional software developers will keep all project documents in version control systems that provide those capabilities.
These templates are not one-size-fits-all and they do not attempt to provide prescriptive guidance on the overall development process. We are developing a broad library of template modules for many purposes and processes. The templates may be filled out in a suggested sequence or in any sequence that fits your existing process. They may be easily customized with any text or HTML editor.


What is the scope of this project?
We will build templates for common software engineering documents inspired by our own exprience.
What are the high-level assumptions or ground rules for the project?
I assume that the user takes ultimate responsibility for the content of all their actual project documents. The templates are merely starting points and low-level guidance.
What are we not going to do?
This project does not attempt to provide powerful tools for reorganizing the templates, mapping them to a given software development process, or generating templates from a underlying process model. This project does not include any application code for any tools, users simply use text editors to fill in or customize the templates.
Is this project part of a larger effort?
Yes. It is part of the Tigris.org mission of promoting open source software engineering. It is also the first product in a product line that will provide even better support to professional software developers. For more information, see ReadySET Pro.


What is the status of this project?
These templates are based on templates originally used to teach software engineering in a university project course. They are now being enhanced, expanded, and used more widely by professionals in industry.
The template set is fairly complete and ready for use in real projects. You can download recent releases. We welcome your feedback.
For the latest news, see the Project Announcements.


Who should use this product?
ReadySET is aimed at software engineers who wish that their projects could go more smoothly and professionally. ReadySET can be used by anyone who is able to use an HTML editor or edit HTML in a text editor.
How can users get started?
  1. Briefly browse all templates
  2. Download the templates and unarchive
  3. Edit the templates to fit the needs of your project
  4. Place the templates on a web server where all your project stakeholders can view them
  5. Edit the templates to fill in detailed information
    • Use a text editor or an HTML editor. Please see our list of recommended tools. (You can use Word, but that is strongly discouraged.)
    • Follow instructions that appear in yellow "sticky notes"
    • Replace text in ALL CAPS with text that describes your project
    • "Chip away" text that does not apply to your project
    • Add text, diagrams, or links as needed
  6. Use the checklists to catch common errors and improve the quality of your documents.
  7. Use the words-of-wisdom pages to help improve the document or deepen your understanding of relevant issues.
  8. Optionally, you may change fonts and colors in the file css/inst.css.
  9. If you have questions or insights about a templates, please read the FAQ or send an email to dev@readyset.tigris.org. You must subscribe to the mailing list before you may post.

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readysetsphinx ReadySET for Sphinx