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ReadySET: User FAQ
- What is ReadySET?
- It is a set of ready-to-use software engineering templates.
Please, see the ReadySET homepage.
- Where does the name "ReadySET" come from?
- "ReadySET" is short for "Ready-to-use Software Engineering
Templates". It also sounds like the phrase "ready, set, go!" which
is said at the beginning of a race to give everyone a fair start.
- Where did the ideas for ReadySET templates come from?
- The general idea came from a need for me to provide a lot of
guidance to university students learning software engineering
without spending time lecturing to them. This fits well with the
tigris.org mission of promoting open source software engineering,
and previous efforts, like ArgoUML to ease adoption of
software engineering tools and practices in industry. The content
of specific templates came from our understanding of software
engineering literature, our experience on software development
projects, and our understanding of cognitive challenges of
- What is the competition for ReadySET?
- The main alternative to ReadySET is to do it yourself and
reinvent the wheel or try to generalize from whatever documents you
produced on your last project. That pattern leads to many
individuals in our industry trying to develop their own methodology
as they move from project to project and company to company.
ReadySET is an attempt to gather that same knowledge from many
people and share it more effectively. There are also products such
Download and Install
- How can I obtain ReadySET?
- Download it.
Please, see the ReadySET homepage.
- What licence covers ReadySET?
- The ReadySET
license is a BSD-style license.
- What do I need to use ReadySET?
- A web browser and a text editor or HTML editor. Please see our
list of recommended tools.
- It is also strongly recommended that you use a web server, a
version control system, and web-based issue tracking system. You
can work through setting up these tools yourself, or use a
Collaborative Development Environment such as CollabNet's SourceCast.
- How do I install ReadySET?
- Simply unarchive it. Make a copy of the template files to use
as your project documents.
- How do I upgrade from an older version of ReadySET?
- For any users not using CVS for their own project:
simply copy-and-paste any desired text from the new templates
into your project documents.
- For users that use CVS for their own project: you can use CVS's
branch feature to help you merge the latest changes from the
ReadySET project into your project. Follow these upgrade steps.
- What is a "ReadySET template"?
- It is an HTML file that with sample text that you should use to
create project documents.
- What is a "project document"?
- It is an HTML file, copied from a ReadySET template, that
contains specific information about your project.
- What is a "prompt"?
- In most other document template sets, the templates are
basically outlines with headings and subheadings. In ReadySET
subheadings are written in the form of a question or prompt. That
helps make the documents more self-explanatory and easier for other
stakeholders to quickly read or write an answer to.
- What are the colored bars in the right-hand margin?
- Those bars indicate sections of sample text. They are
explicitly marked so that you can see at a glance which parts have
been filled in and which parts are still the original sample text.
Once you edit the text, you should remove the HTML attribute
class="sample1" to remove the bar.
- Why are there multiple answers (and colored bars) to each prompt?
- Rather than give a long explanation of the meaning of each
prompt, ReadySET includes a few sample answers to most prompts.
That works best when one of the sample answers includes ideas that
relate to your specific project. In many cases, much of the process
of filling in a template is reduced to "chipping away" at the sample
text by removing text that does not apply to your project.
- What is "chipping away"?
- The term "chipping away" comes from an old joke: when a sculptor
is asked how he carved a marble statue of a horse, he replies "It
was easy, I just started with a big block of marble and chiped away
everything that did not look like a horse."
- What is an "attached worksheet"?
- The idea is similar to filling in an IRS form and using
worksheets to calculate subtotals or make specific decisions. That
is to say, there is a hierarchy to the templates: there are the main
templates, and then worksheets for specific topics. We have divided
the information into several files so that each file is focused on
one topic, and so that each file can be worked on by one person in a
reasonable amount of time.
- What is the "process impact" box about?
- The process impact box explains where the current template fits
into the software development process. It usually includes a brief
comment on who should create the document, and who would be expected
to make use of it. You can change the process impact box, but you
should not need to.
- What is a "checklist"?
- There are two kinds of checklists:
- Many of the templates have a section with questions that help
you check your work in that template. Often the sample answers to
the questions prompt you to take some corrective action.
- For design and code review meetings, there are links to
guidelines and checklists that help you identify common errors in
- What is a "sticky note"?
- The idea is similar to a post-it note attached to a document
that tells you do "sign here" or fill in a certain part. There are
two types of sticky notes:
After you have done what the sticky note says, you can delete the
sticky note. In the HTML file, they are marked with class="sticky".
- TODO: Instructs you on how to fill in the template. This is
the minimum that you need to do. One of the main goals of ReadySET
is to help your team quickly carry out basic software
engineering activities. The TODO sticky notes make that easy by
making the templates more self-explanatory.
- TIP: Helps you think of better ways to fill in the template.
One of the other main goals of ReadySET is to help your team make
better decisions that can make your whole project more successful.
The TIP sticky notes help with that.
- Why do some links have dashed underlines?
- Those are links to the definitions of terms. They are visually
different so that readers whill know that they can quickly read the
definition of that term without being side-tracked. Also, the
dashed underlines do not appear when the document is printed.
Configuring and Customizing ReadySET
- One of the ReadySET templates is not needed for my project. How
do I remove it?
- Just delete it, and remove any links to it.
- How do I add a new file to the set?
- Just open a new file in your HTML editor. Save the file, and
add links to it from other templates as you see fit. You may want
to copy an existing template and tear out all its content and put
your content there instead, that way the new template will have the
proper HTML HEAD elements, but these are simple anyway.
- How can I use ReadySET for projects using technologie like .NET or J2EE?
- ReadySET does not have any complex customization tools. There
are no "plug-ins" or meta-models. Those layers of abstraction make
it harder to get started. ReadySET is just a set of XHTML
templates. You can edit them any way you like, it is up to you and
there is nothing preventing you from doing it. ReadySET Pro takes a more powerful
approach that does have a bit of a learning curve, but scales well
to corporate usage.
- How can I add "Company Proprietary" to every page?
- That text is already there in a paragraph with CSS
class="legal1". Normally that CSS style is invisible. You can make
it visible by editing css/inst.css to uncomment the line "display:
block !important". If you need to change the text, you can use a
global search and replace in your text editor.
- Who uses ReadySET?
- Stay tuned to the ReadySET mailing list for user testimonials.
Contributing to the Project
- Who can contribute to this project?
- Everyone is welcome, especially project managers or team leads
who have first-hand experience on many projects where templates like
these would have helped.
- How can someone start to contribute?
- Make sure that you are familiar with the templates, then send
your comments to the project mailing list and we will go from there.
Only a core group of developers will have commit access, but others
can make contributions via the mailing list and we will review them
and integrate changes.
- Please do not send in any proprietary or copyrighted content. We
will have to immediately delete it. E.g., if you have a document
template that you use at your current company, please do not send it.
Instead, you can give us a few bullet points or examples on specific
things that you think help make that type of document more useful
based on your general experience. Of course, you should never send
in any actual document that contains any actual information about
your business, product plans, schedules, budgets, personnel, or
- Who is contributing to ReadySET?
- Stay tuned to the ReadySET mailing list for information.
- My question is not on this page. How do I find the answer?
- Your question may have already been asked and answered, to find
it: search the project mail
archives and issue
tracking system. If you still don't find it, you can ask the
question on the the ReadySET developers' mailing list or you can
enter an issue. You must subscribe to the mailing list before you
may post. For commercial support and training, see ReadySET Pro.