B. Childs, J. Sametinger, Literate Programming and Documentation Reuse, Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Software Reuse, Orlando, Florida, April 1996
Object-oriented programming has brought many advantages to the software engineering community. The reuse of existing software components and application frameworks can improve the productivity in software development considerably. The same object-oriented techniques, i.e., inheritance and information hiding, that ease reusing software, can be applied to documentation and thus, enable its reuse.
One can document each software component–regardless of what a component is–from scratch. This leads to multiple documentation of features that are multiply reused. One can also describe a component’s differences to other components. This seems logical for the systems documentation of object-oriented software. However, as will be shown, this kind of reuse can not only be applied to source-code related documentation, but also to documentation, where there is no source code involved at all, e.g., user documentation.
In this paper we describe the concepts for documentation reuse, how these concepts can be realized with a literate programming tool, and the application of documentation reuse in various areas.
Keywords: documentation reuse, reuse of software engineering artifacts, object-oriented programming, literate programming, noweb