For the complete beginner, this text has substantial introductory material on formal methods and the three FDTs. This is complemented by guidance on how to develop specifications and implementations using the FDTs. The treatment of the FDTs is deliberately non-mathematical to make the book accessible to a wide readership. The book is illustrated with examples since it is believed that a great deal can be learned from the work of experienced specifiers. The examples can be used to study one FDT or to compare the approaches taken by different FDTs. Although the examples mainly deal with data communications, they illustrate important principles that apply in many other application areas. The examples have been written for readers with little knowledge of data communications. The text is suitable for self-study. It would also be appropriate as a textbook for a practical course on formal methods and languages. The examples in particular would be a source of material for laboratory exercises and projects. An instructor's disk has therefore been prepared as a companion to the book. It contains the ASCII text (less the commentary) of all the complete formal descriptions in the book.
Major diagrams that would be useful for teaching are also included on the disk in LATEX or PostScript form as appropriate.