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The little things in life are bothering me today.
How are your requirements stated?
Is it -
1. the product must blah blah blah or
2. the product shall blah blah yada yada yada or
I am having a problem with shall today. It just looks weird.
Software QA Engineer Lead
Senior SQA Analyst
Depends on the environment.
I've been places where 'must' meant a priority 1 'must have' requirement, and 'shall' meant a priority 2 or 'should have' requirement.
I've always preferred will myself, but I am not sure there's a standard (outside of particular methodology standards)
"They were painters and they were painting themselves a lovely world.."
"Shall" is normally the keyword in government/DOD requirements documents. From my Funk & Wagnalls dictionary:
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">quote:</font><HR>
shall, will The formal view on the use of shall and will is that to indicate simple futurity shall is used in the first person, will in the second and third; their roles are reversed to express determination, command, inevitability, etc.,... These rules apply to American usage only at the most formal level.
Therefore, to state a requirement for something, which is normally stated in the 3rd person, "shall" is the correct form; whereas if you are just predicting what you believe it is going to do, then "will" would be correct.
I've seen cases where "shall" is used to denote a "must" requirement, "should" for desirable but negotiable, and "may" for "it would be nice, but we'll live without it if it's going to cost more money."
[i]...Sound trumpets! Every trumpet in the host! / Sixty thousand, on these words, sound, so high the mountains sound, and the valleys resound.</i] (The Song of Roland)
An alternative: Use a heading of "Requirements" followed by a numbered list of items (makes it easier to refer to specific items in a discussion). I also sometimes have a problem with "shall" (sounds stilted even though it is correct) and "will" (sounds hopeful but not sure). I like keeping documents easy to read/find information.
We used 'shall'. It was a government contract so we may have used that for the reason Charles mentions.
I thought that was wierd at first, but now it is the norm for me. It doesn't give me the impression that it is ambiguous or less important - the product either does it (fullfills the requirement) or it doesn't (fails to fullfill the requirement).
We use shall and wills
We treat a shall as an explict expression on what is to happen, where a will is more like an intention.