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A better term for "software" - from M376

From: Michael Pluke <Mike.Pluke@castle-consult.com>
Date: Mon, 13 Aug 2012 12:28:44 -0400
To: "public-wcag2ict-tf@w3.org" <public-wcag2ict-tf@w3.org>
Message-ID: <5735ED0D92A3E6469F161EB41E7C28A81D1BAA85A6@MAILR001.mail.lan>
I am putting together an "interaction context"-based survey. One issue that is recognised in this survey is that, for practical purposes it will often be better to, wherever possible, try to apply WCAG SCs to "software/software UI, ....." rather than all of the "interaction contexts" that may be within that software. Where  we are safe to apply the SCs at this level we must have a suitable term. We have been struggling for some time with variants. I would like to more seriously propose a term that we use in M376.

M376 has used the term "software that provides a user interface" when referring to what should conform to WCAG.

I believe that this:


-          is better than "software" or "software application" as it excludes software that has no UI;

-          is better than "software UI" as that term focuses on the UI only and raises questions such as what is UI and what is content. Using "software that provides a user interface" also avoids the question whether it is the software "behind" the UI that is actually influencing the accessibility; as such hidden components would also be included within the M376 term;

-          is better than "software product" as it clarifies that conformance should be judged for each bit of software "that provides a UI" i.e. it should be applied to each application in a package like MS Office, as the package does not "provide A UI".  It also doesn't include the word "product" that has too strong associations with "commercial product" for some people;

-          happily covers multi-function applications like Outlook as this software still only provides one UI (that presents several interaction contexts).

Maybe I have become too used to it, but I have not yet seen any obvious limitations with the use of this term (except that it is a little longer than its alternatives).

Best regards

Mike
Received on Monday, 13 August 2012 16:29:51 GMT

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