Software Process milestone
1. Q/A & Optimisation activity
For Q/A & Optimisation is intended here an activity which can be applied
to the software product, either in a global context and within each component
domain of the project.
This activity includes the following specific topics:
Priority should be given to topics (a) and (b).
a. monitoring of dynamic memory allocation (memory leaks) by
using specific tools applied to well defined testdbed applications.
Goal: identify possible weaknesses/bugs in the code concerning
memory access, dynamic memory usage and illegal pointer operations in order
to improve overall usability and robustness of the applications at run-time.
b. perfomance monitoring and profiling, based on well defined
Goal: identify areas in the code where simple devices and solutions
can be applied to improve run-time performance. This can be achieved by
performing a statistical analysis over the CPU, memory usage and process
c. filtering of the source code to identify major violations
of coding rules which may point to potential bugs in the software, or violations
to our coding conventions.
- the set of coding rules should be defined and proper tools and
filtering scripts adopted.
Goal: improve quality and reliability of the code by assuring
that developed code does not violate major or established coding conventions.
d. filtering of the source code to identify evident metrics violations.
Goal: improve quality, maintainability and portability of the
code, by identifying areas of complexity and quantifying through quality
factors the textual and structural aspects pertaining to the source code.
e. Test coverage analysis.
Goal: improve quality of testing, by statistically identify
those parts of the code (files, functions, statements) which are not executed
and therefore not exercised during normal testing.
This activity has to be integrated in the current Software Process
and therefore based on "mutual trust" by the G4 developers and Category
The implementation of the suggested fixes to the code should be -seriously-
evaluated and carry high priority with Category Coordinators.
If not considered, a valid motivation should be expressed and documented.
Workplan & timescale:
q1. Create a team of maximum 2 people involved for -at least- 30%
of their time for set up and implementing the topics above. The team should
take the responsibility of:
identifying the proper professional tools to be used associated to the
topics mentioned above, also considering their availability and project
select and/or define the 'testbed' applications to be used and maintain/upgrade
them along the development.
maintenance is foreseen in collaboration with the STT team and Category
making a first complete analysis for points (a) and (b) above.
delegate to Category Coordinators the responsibility to monitor, assign
to developers and/or implement fixes result of the QA activity.
q2. Identify possible resources (tools/people) within external groups
which are part of the Geant4 Collaboration.
q3. The created QA team should take the responsibility of identify
the valid set of rules at point (c) and implement the proper filters and
scripts to be adopted.
q4. Other activities involving the QA team are:
make publicy available to collaborators/developers tools, setups and script,
to allow 'unit' QA activity within each project domain (see also automation
automate as much as possible (and document) the QA activity, possibly through
the World-Wide-Web (access restricted to Geant4 developers).
make available and distribute the results of the filtering and analysis
done (see also automation, through WWW and/or direct mail contact with
perform a complete analysis regularly every 1 or 2 months, based on the
latest suggested Reference Tag.
q1. - Creation of the team: as soon as possible. Review current
q2. - As soon as possible.
q3. - December 15th 2000.
q4. - Progressive improvement.
2. Analysis & Design software cycle
The following list of actions proposed are meant to document a well established
OOP procedure which is still required in the "production" phase of the
software product. They are needed in order to assure that improvements
and new developments are kept in sync with the overall OOA&D.
These actions, most of which have to be integrated in the regular software
development of each project domain, if associated with a regular QA activity,
will guarantee that the code quality will not degrade with time. It will
also assure a coherent development where coupling will not increase with
the complexity of the software.
Workplan & timescale:
a1. Periodically (every 6 months) review the current category diagram
and check/identify those areas where violations/changes have been introduced,
in a global context.
a2. Within each Category domain, Category Coordinators should periodically
perform the following actions:
review and if necessary update the User Requirements Document (URD) by
analysing it in the context of their category domain, possibly starting
from a "use-cases" list;
review and identify those areas where an OOA&D software cycle needs
to be applied and implement it;
review the A&D documents (class diagrams AND scenario diagrams for
the most relevant object interactions concerned). If necessary update and
review the code to check its consistency with the design.
a3. Within each Category domain, Category Coordinators should regularly:
ensure that the on-going development in their category is consistent with
the design dictated by the above documents by supervising the development
activity and, according to available resources, organising proper training
for the developers in the team.
a4. Make available on web the above documents and define a clear
procedure for their maintenance and update.
a5.Collect architectural design diagrams, and define a clear procedure
for their mainteinance and update.
a1. - Perform the first review by October 31st 2000.
a2. & a3. - Assessment of the current Software Process
a4. - Updated documents/diagrams to be posted on web should be submitted
to the Software Manager Coordinator by December 15th 2000. Maintenance
and update procedure will be defined during this period.
a5. Create a CVS repository with restricted access to Geant4 Category
Coordinators for collecting architectural designs (.mdl Rose files) and
implement a policy to regularly update: DONE.
Generate a questionaire based on ISO/ESA (references: CERN Project Support
Team and past SPICE assessment), and distribute to Category Coordinators
Collect results of the questionaire - DONE;
Integrate assessment's results and Software Process improvement proposal
in a ISO-15504 document - DONE.
All documents in the repository - by December 15th 2000.
The following is a list of actions to be considered in order to improve
the System Testing activity and assure continuity.
t1. Review currently dedicated resources available for testing.
prioritise recruitment of new manpower and promote a training activity
t2. Improvement of system tests & examples (priority order):
t3. Improve/implement automation (priority order):
establish clear responsibilities for maintenance and integration of system
tests and examples in the normal development process, in order to improve
communication and collaboration between the Testing team and developers;
review and improve code quality of official public examples. The goal is
to facilitate take up and training of users of Geant4 by providing them
with a set of well thought out reference examples.
review and properly document current system tests; check and possibly increase
the scope of the system tests by verifying correspondance with URD and
This is required to easily monitor the evolution of the system tests
and verify that the required functionalities are correctly implemented
use "regression tests".
This is required to detect and understand behavioral changes that may
happen by the integration of new development.
use "statistical tests".
The goal is to help with verifying the coherence of the results with
their physical meaning (statistical distributions) for each test.
Workplan & timescale:
adoption of Bonsai tool and LXR browser.
To automate and facilitate the testing activity adopting a WWW tool
for submitting tags to system testing (Bonsai) and provide a way of easily
browsing the code online through the WWW (LXR).
adoption of an automatic testing system based on Tinderbox with customisation
for Geant4 (tagged code).
To allow all developers the ability to view and monitor the progress
of system tests and allow their distributed control.
integrate Q/A automation (see above).
To provide to developers the possibility to perform basic Q/A checks
in a easy way to their code, sharing the same tools/scripts adopted by
the Q/A team, through the same integrated environment used for testing
t1. - DONE; review current situation;
t2. - implementation:
Point (1) - as soon as possible;
Point (2) - by November 2000;
Point (3) - DONE; review current situation.
Review system tests correspondance with URD by December 2000.
Introduce new tests to cover deficiencies found above: progressive;
Point (4) - by December 2000;
Point (5) - progressive improvement.
t3. - implementation:
Bonsai - DONE; put in production latest fixes.
LXR - DONE.
Tinderbox - by December 2000.
Q/A automation - progressive improvement.