Re: "Allow" vs. "Require"

Subject: Re: "Allow" vs. "Require"
From: Lauren <lauren -at- writeco -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Mon, 09 Apr 2012 15:15:14 -0700

On 4/9/2012 2:53 PM, Dan Goldstein wrote:

Now, back in the real world situation that I described, "allow" actually
works better than "enable":

Yes, it does.

* "The RCP shall allow but not require the user to schlep the pekele."

I liked it the first time I read it. I think the discussion continued after this perfect resolution because there was value in the discussion of the reasoning why this phrasing was more appropriate than other phrasing.

* "The RCP shall enable but not require the user to schlep the pekele."

Excellent illustration of how the words are not interchangeable. The use of "enable" raises questions about what is being enabled, whether it is the option to schlep or the pekele itself, and the ramifications of an enabled option not being schlepped or an unschlepped pekele, whichever is the case.

With the use of "allow," there is no question about the status of the pekele and the system designers can focus on giving users the option to schlep. In this case, "allow" narrows the focus to the user requirements without raising vagueness about what those requirements are. The qualifier, "but not require," further narrows the focus to a specific user requirement. It is a thing of beauty, as it were.

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"Allow" vs. "Require": From: Dan Goldstein
RE: "Allow" vs. "Require": From: Dan Goldstein
RE: "Allow" vs. "Require": From: Porrello, Leonard
Re: "Allow" vs. "Require": From: Lauren
RE: "Allow" vs. "Require": From: Porrello, Leonard
RE: "Allow" vs. "Require": From: Dan Goldstein

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