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April 9, 1992

Tentative Proposal for an AIPS++ Project Book
R.M. Hjellming and B. Glendenning
We propose that the AIPS++ development group write and maintain a project ``book" that describes the current state of the AIPS++ project, with the two of us as initial co-editors. The project book should be written in TEXINFO format so it can be read both on-line by X-windows terminals and in ``printed" or ``previewable" postscript files. The primary purpose is to have an accurate description of the state of the project for AIPS++ developers, but a secondary purpose would be to provide documentation for others who wish to learn about the state of the project. The VLBA project book is an example of a successful project book for an instrumental project. While a software project is more difficult to describe because of the primitive state of software ``engineering", the software approach of developing AIPS++ in object-oriented C++ code should be matched with a rigorous approach to documenting the system for a mixture of programmers and astronomers involved in, or interest in learning about, the project.

In most cases the project book should NOT describe things that are planned for implementation, to avoid the confusion between hopes and realities. Some exceptions might be descriptions of coordinates and other basic reference material. However in all cases contents must be a description of things as they really are, even in preliminary or prototype form.

The following are some of the possible ``sections" of the proposed project book:

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