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Jeroen W. Pluimers on .NET, C#, Delphi, databases, and personal interests

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During software quality courses, I always explain to avoid abbreviations and acronyms as they are very domain specific. It seems authz, authn differ. As do a11n,

Posted by jpluimers on 2021/07/07

Each time I teach or talk about software quality, I stress that you should not use abbreviations nor acronyms as they confuse people and make communication a lot harder.

This is not just because acronyms and abbreviations are domain specific, which makes it harder to switch domains, but also because it raises the level for people coping with things like wordblindness or dyslexia.

Recently, two new abbreviations seem to have popped up: authn and authz (don’t you love it that Wikipedia has links for them, but does not explain them?). At first I thought it had something to do with who authored some bits of a system. But I was wrong:

[WayBack] Ian Coldwater 📦💥✨ on Twitter: “authn == authentication authz == authorization… “

For an all-inclusion point of view, I was amazed at for instance a11n, and I am not alone:

[WayBack] Thread by @MattGrayYES: “Here’s a question: When I see people tweet about accessibility they hashtag . What links allies to accessibility? Googling didn’t help […]” #ally

Here’s a question: When I see people tweet about accessibility they hashtag #ally. What links allies to accessibility?
Googling didn’t help

Hahaha apparently it’s a11y not ally, as an abbreviation of accessibility. Is that ironic or what. How is anyone meant to know that‽

Apparently some people can’t be bothered to write the eleven letters between the a and the y, so swap it for “11”
Now I think of it, writing like that is so easy to read!
I3l f3d b7t: h2h b4s, s6s, b3n, b3k p5g a1d b3d b3s.

Add to that things like l10n or i18n, and dozens of other abbreviations and slowly your brain will start to melt until you realise it is too late.

So pick up your autocorrect, typing completion and other automation systems and lets get rid of acronyms and abbreviations.

Because we deserve better.

–jeroen

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