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

From: Michael Pluke <Mike.Pluke@castle-consult.com>
Date: Mon, 13 Aug 2012 17:08:14 -0400
To: David MacDonald <david100@sympatico.ca>, "public-wcag2ict-tf@w3.org" <public-wcag2ict-tf@w3.org>
Message-ID: <5735ED0D92A3E6469F161EB41E7C28A81D1BB35EE2@MAILR001.mail.lan>
Hopefully not. If the backend parts do not have a user interface then they are not "software that provides a user interface".

Sometimes it may be very difficult to exactly agree about the divide between the UI and the rest of the application that supports the UI. We wouldn't want someone saying that we didn't meet this SC as we didn't think that the part of the software that is needed to meet it is part of the UI. That is why we didn't just say "software UI".

Best regards

Mike

From: David MacDonald [mailto:david100@sympatico.ca]
Sent: 13 August 2012 18:50
To: Michael Pluke; public-wcag2ict-tf@w3.org
Subject: RE: A better term for "software" - from M376

"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 interface...

Cheers
David MacDonald

CanAdapt Solutions Inc.
  "Enabling the Web"
www.Can-Adapt.com<http://www.can-adapt.com/>

From: Michael Pluke [mailto:Mike.Pluke@castle-consult.com]<mailto:[mailto:Mike.Pluke@castle-consult.com]>
Sent: August-13-12 12:29 PM
To: public-wcag2ict-tf@w3.org<mailto: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 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 21:08:58 GMT

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