Anyone know of or use any modern specification writing software geared towards engineering and software? Something that covers many facets of the design process, visualization, and possibly integration with other software?
I'm really looking for something similar to the Visual Paradigm suite but geared for electronic and programming specifications.
A word processor or, if you live on the edge, perhaps LaTeX?
Seriously, I have a hard time visualizing (no pun intended) what "specification writing software" could provide for general design support beyond a top-level skeleton or template for the various specification sections. Happy to be enlightened, though.
I'm not sure what the OP is talking about, but specification _tracking_ software is supposed to be a good thing. I've never had a chance to use it, but in theory it's a specialized data base app that lets you trace a tree of specifications from the sales guys' "make work: make work good" all the way down to bolt lengths, ect.
So when someone says "whyinhell are you using that $1.27 op-amp there, when a $0.54 one is available", you can start with speed or offset or whatever, and trace that all the way up the tree to your directive from Sales & Marketing.
They're lots-o-work to maintain, but in a ginormous project that needs to work well, they're supposed to help.
My liberal friends think I'm a conservative kook.
My conservative friends think I'm a liberal kook.
What *specifically* do you want the tool to do for you (beside "write the code"/"design the circuit" :> )?
What is absent from *their* tools that you require? (Have you run your requirement across *their* desk to see what they think might fit your needs?)
I write a *lot* of specs (at times, almost half of my workload) and, so far, have found good DTP tools (and portable document formats to allow others to review and comment on the work-in-progress) the most effective. Over the years I've had to home-grow various tools to interface to those documents (an "open" format is essential, IMO) but most have been relatively trivial to implement.
Also, avoid "importing" too many different "document" (whatever those might be) formats as that just increases your exposure to changes in those formats, the "foreign" tools that are writing them and *your* tool reading them (nothing worse than having to rush to convert an updated document from FOO format to BAR format just because it tickled a bug in the FOO-format reader!)