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The Behaviour Specification Handbook

General Tips

Avoid Generic Verbs

Avoid the word "handle" or any other verb that is generic and hides or obfuscates the actual behaviour.

For instance, let us pretend that someone wrote the following inadvisable description:

    Should handle the situation when the total amount is not equal to the sum of all item amounts

The above description has both positive and negative points. On the positive side, the "when" section is descriptive and is an easily understandable, differentiating condition or entry criteria. On the negative side however, "handle" is not actually describing the behaviour that occurs in that situation. What instead is actually meant by "handle"?

A better description is more specific about the behaviour. For instance:

    Should provide a notification of an error when the total amount is not equal to the sum of all item amounts

This much more clearly describes the actual type of behaviour to be performed.


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