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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 17:10:37 -0400
To: "Hoffman, Allen" <Allen.Hoffman@HQ.DHS.GOV>, David MacDonald <david100@sympatico.ca>, "public-wcag2ict-tf@w3.org" <public-wcag2ict-tf@w3.org>
Message-ID: <5735ED0D92A3E6469F161EB41E7C28A81D1BB35EE4@MAILR001.mail.lan>
What you are happy with is also what I am happy with - good news!

Software that provides a user interface is intended as a substitute for software only - not for documents and software.

Best regards


From: Hoffman, Allen [mailto:Allen.Hoffman@HQ.DHS.GOV]
Sent: 13 August 2012 18:56
To: David MacDonald; Michael Pluke; public-wcag2ict-tf@w3.org
Subject: RE: A better term for "software" - from M376

So we have:
User interface context
Software that provides a user interface

My only problem is that most folks can separate documents from software so I could be happy with
Documents and software that provides a user interface

I don't buy the exceptions separating simple documents from  software that provides a user interface which were pointed out in the WCAG top-level as significant challenges to understanding the differences.  So, I'm sure that we could use documents and software that provides a user interface and be a bit more vague than we could be, but more precise than not doing it at all.

From: David MacDonald [mailto:david100@sympatico.ca]<mailto:[mailto:david100@sympatico.ca]>
Sent: Monday, August 13, 2012 1:50 PM
To: 'Michael Pluke'; public-wcag2ict-tf@w3.org<mailto: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...

David MacDonald

CanAdapt Solutions Inc.
  "Enabling the Web"

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

Received on Monday, 13 August 2012 21:11:10 UTC

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