SPECS—A Specification Production Computer System

by Joseph M. Sussman, Asst. Prof.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., MIT, Cambridge, MA,
Robert D. Logcher, (A.M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., MIT, Cambridge, MA,
Howard C. Stotland, Systems Analyst; Engrg. Computer Intl., Inc., Cambridge, MA,

Serial Information: Journal of the Structural Division, 1971, Vol. 97, Issue 1, Pg. 425-438

Document Type: Journal Paper


SPECS is a computer system used to prepare final contract specifications. The system provides a framework for development of a general master specification from which all project specifications are derived through a context editing which utilizes the logical capabilities inherent in computers to treat relations among blocks of information in the specification. Blocks of information may be excluded (or included) as a function of the exclusion (or inclusion) of other blocks. In addition, other logical structures may be utilized. Flexible format control is provided by allowing the user to define format files which contain rules for printing (e.g. page width, depth). These format files then control the printing of a specification. SPECS is operational on both the IBM 1130 and S/360, under the PLAN system. Problem oriented languages are used to facilitate man-machine communication.

Subject Headings: Computing in civil engineering | Contracts | Frames | Wood structures | Equipment and machinery | Computer languages | Communication systems

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