Specification (technical standard)
A specification can be defined in different ways depending on its use: it may be formal, architectural, functional, program-specific, action-specific, or a mix of these and other aspects. Merriam-Webster defines specification as "the act or process of specifying," though it can also be a presentation, plan, proposal, statement, description, or some other document that states how something should be performed or initiated. A more thorough — and practical — definition of a specification comes from ASTM International:
specification, n — an explicit set of requirements to be satisfied by a material, product, system, or service.
DISCUSSION — Examples of specifications include, but are not limited to, requirements for; physical, mechanical, or chemical properties, and safety, quality, or performance criteria. A specification identifies the test methods for determining whether each of the requirements is satisfied.—ASTM International, Form and Style for ASTM Standards
For the purposes of this wiki, we generally use the word "specification" to refer to an individual requirement a software system must satisfy rather than a set of requirements. For example Specification 481918 Entry and accuracy represents one possible system requirement: the system allows test results entry with accuracy ensured. This specification may be one of more than a hundred requirements, each represented by a specification. For the purposes of this wiki, when numerous specifications are collected together to represent all potential requirements for a system, we use the word "datasheet."
- "specification". Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, Inc. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/specification. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
- "Form and Style for ASTM Standards". ASTM International. January 2015. http://www.astm.org/COMMIT/Blue_Book.pdf. Retrieved 27 April 2015.