Re: functional decomposition and abstraction.

Tom Anderson <>
Mon, 1 Sep 2008 18:04:14 +0100
On Mon, 1 Sep 2008, Lew wrote:

Eileen wrote:

here's one of our new objectives: "Explain functional decomposition and

of which the first hit
is an awfully good start.

Is it? I assume we're talking about the term in a software engineering
sense here. Here's the sum total of what the article has to say about

  Computer programming and software engineering

  For most of the same reasons already stipulated, functional decomposition
  has a prominent role in computer programming, where a major goal is to
  modularize processes to the greatest extent possible. In the early
  decades of computer programming, this was manifested as the "art of
  subroutining," as it was called by some prominent practitioners.

Which is about as much use as a chocolate teapot.

I'm interested in this question myself, because i don't really know what
'functional decomposition' is. It might well be something i should know
about, but my skepticism gland is telling me that it's one of (a) a fancy
name for something simple that i'm already doing, (b) another product of
the academic good ideas club that's no use in the real world (maybe i'm
just reacting to the 'functional' here) or (c) a meaningless buzzword.

Abstraction falls into catgeory (a), though - it's something i'd say i
understand and practice, but i can't for the life of me explain it.

The OP could try comp.object with this question. And surely this teacher
has pointed them at books or papers or something that they can read to
find out about this subject?


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