Requirements Format

Sebastian Huber sebastian.huber at
Wed Feb 27 07:42:47 UTC 2019

On 26/02/2019 16:15, Joel Sherrill wrote:
> On Tue, Feb 26, 2019 at 8:57 AM Sebastian Huber 
> <sebastian.huber at 
> <mailto:sebastian.huber at>> wrote:
>     Hello Joel,
>     On 26/02/2019 15:44, Joel Sherrill wrote:
>     > Hi
>     >
>     > I have mentioned this before but reading ticket 3703, you obviously
>     > didn't remember it.
>     I remember it and I think I proposed to use ReqIF.
>     > ReqIF is an OMG standard for representing
>     > requirements in XML format. It was designed to facilitate
>     requirements
>     > exchange between partnering organizations.
>     >
>     >
>     >
>     > It appears to be supported by all the major requirement tools
>     including
>     > DOORS and LDRA's toolset. Importantly, it is supported by the
>     Eclipse
>     > Requirements Management Framework (RMF) and the ProR tool
>     >
>     >
>     >
>     >

The ProR and ReqIF Studio look like mostly dead projects to me. They 
didn't manage to build a reasonable user base and community in the last 
couple of years. I experienced stability problems with both tools (e.g. 
NULL pointer exceptions). The documentation is not really great and if 
you start to try things beyond simple examples it gets hairy. I don't 
want to work with such tools and waste my time.

>     >
>     > This is a solved problem. We should not define our own XML format.
>     > One exists and there is a set of open source tools we can use to
>     work
>     > with requirements.
>     Did you try to use these tools? It is a nightmare.
> We were starting to look at some requirements tools for another project.
> Some of the feedback will be from people with experience with other
> requirements tools. My impression is that requirements tools generally
> suck.
>     We evaluated also Papyrus:

My experience and one of our trainees with Papyrus are not really great. 
This is a complex tool you have to use intensively in your day to day 
work to be productive. There are some videos available, but getting 
started is quite difficult. I guess most people learn it with the help 
of colleagues. I also guess that it is used via in-house versions and 
not all known bugs are fixed in the public version. It is overkill just 
to manage requirements with it.

>     I will try to summarize the problems we encountered using ReqIF in
>     the
>     next days.
> The format or the Eclipse tools? The format is separate from the tools.

First, we need a data model for the requirements in the scope of RTEMS. 
You need this model also for ReqIF. ReqIF is the Requirements 
Interchange Format, the emphasis is on interchange. It is an open 
question, if it is suitable as a project internal representation for our 
requirements. At the moment I tend to use some sort of XML file and use 
a simple text editor.

Sebastian Huber, embedded brains GmbH

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