J. Sametinger, Reuse Documentation and Documentation Reuse, Proceedings of TOOLS Europe '96, Paris, February 1996.


The reuse of application frameworks and class libraries can improve the productivity in software development considerably. Object-oriented techniques, i.e., inheritance and information hiding, that ease reusing software, can be applied to documentation and thus, enable documentation reuse.
One can document a software component from scratch‹regardless of what a component is. This leads to multiple documentation of features that are multiply reused and may easily result in inconsistencies. One can also describe a component’s differences to other components. This seems
logical for systems documentation of object-oriented software. However, this kind of reuse can also be applied to documentation, where there is no source code involved at all.
The information needed for the reuse of software components is not provided by traditional documentation, which is often divided into project documentation, user documentation, and systems documentation. In this paper we define the contents and structure of reuse documentation and apply the concepts of documentation reuse. This results in a reuse documentation hierarchy that defines the structure of various kinds of reusable components and supports consistency and completeness of the information.

Keywords: documentation, reuse, object-oriented programming, reuse documentation, documentation reuse, literate programming

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