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RE: A better term for "software" - from M376

From: David MacDonald <david100@sympatico.ca>
Date: Mon, 13 Aug 2012 13:49:49 -0400
Message-ID: <BLU0-SMTP11E68EC57F768870F6A500FEB00@phx.gbl>
To: "'Michael Pluke'" <Mike.Pluke@castle-consult.com>, <public-wcag2ict-tf@w3.org>
"software that provides a user interface"


Just wondering... couldn't some people think this refers to the entire
software product... i.e., the product has a user interface therefore the
entire product must meet WCAG (even those backend parts that don't have an



David MacDonald


CanAdapt Solutions Inc.

  "Enabling the Web"

 <http://www.can-adapt.com/> www.Can-Adapt.com


From: Michael Pluke [mailto:Mike.Pluke@castle-consult.com] 
Sent: August-13-12 12:29 PM
To: public-wcag2ict-tf@w3.org
Subject: A better term for "software" - from M376


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


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


Received on Monday, 13 August 2012 17:50:26 UTC

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