Q. At what point in the top-down design should I begin to add details?
A. Put off the details as long as possible. If you were designing a program to produce sales reports, you would not enter the printing of the final report total until you had completed all the other report design tasks. The details fall out on their own when you can no longer break a task into two or more other tasks.
Q. Once I break the top-down design into its lowest-level details, don’t I also have the pseudocode details?
A. The top-down enables you to determine all the details your program will need. The top-down design doesn’t, however, put those details into their logical execution order. The pseudocode dictates the executing logic of your program and determines when things happen, the order in which they happen, and when they stop happening. The top-down design simply determines everything that might happen in the program. Instead of using pseudocode, however, you should consider getting a RAD tool that will help you move more quickly from the design to the finished, working program. Today’s RAD systems are still rather primitive, and you’ll have to add much of the code yourself.