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

From: Hoffman, Allen <Allen.Hoffman@HQ.DHS.GOV>
Date: Tue, 14 Aug 2012 12:29:05 +0000
To: Michael Pluke <Mike.Pluke@castle-consult.com>, "public-wcag2ict-tf@w3.org" <public-wcag2ict-tf@w3.org>
Message-ID: <9F7B0040F7A7C4428E160959229DE9F30686F45D@D2ASEPRSH126.DSA.DHS>
I really think not distinguishing software from documents was and will continue to be a enormous detractor from the work.
I don't find the separation so difficult, no matter what blurring of lines happens-the blur comes from insertion of software in to documents, making them software.
I don't think we'll be stamping out simple documents any time soon now, e.g. a short invoice won't become very interactive very soon, except when its online and not really a document, but is a web page.  Announcements won't just over night start becoming interactive items, e.g. message to all, the X program will hold an event tomorrow at 10:30, please attend.

From: Michael Pluke [mailto:Mike.Pluke@castle-consult.com]
Sent: Monday, August 13, 2012 5:02 PM
To: Hoffman, Allen; public-wcag2ict-tf@w3.org
Subject: RE: A better term for "software" - from M376


I think that you are right .

We used "software that provides a user interface" only as a term applicable to software and not documents. Unlike WCAG2ICT, we have two categories "Software" and "Electronic content" (which includes content and could also include content made available via a software application).

You will be glad to hear that I will not try to persuade WCAG2ICT to agree to the above M376 classification, but hopefully our term could work as a substitute for the terms "software" and "software UI" that we are currently struggling with.

Best regards


From: Hoffman, Allen [mailto:Allen.Hoffman@HQ.DHS.GOV]
Sent: 13 August 2012 17:49
To: Michael Pluke; public-wcag2ict-tf@w3.org<mailto:public-wcag2ict-tf@w3.org>
Subject: RE: A better term for "software" - from M376

I have no objection to the term.
I don't think it represents documents well as they don't provide user interface in the most general terms, but are content only, notwithstanding the whole blurring of the lines.

From: Michael Pluke [mailto:Mike.Pluke@castle-consult.com]<mailto:[mailto:Mike.Pluke@castle-consult.com]>
Sent: Monday, August 13, 2012 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 Tuesday, 14 August 2012 12:29:42 UTC

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