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Thursday, February 28, 2008


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Strongly agree... thanks for pointing it out, Nick!


I'll allow that I find your point enabling.

@Chip: I give you permission to feel that way :)

I agree completely. I write the help file and release notes for the company I work for and I am constantly stopping myself from writing "allows" and changing it to "enables" and it bothers me mightily when I see others make that mistake.

Or if you want to get really Madison Avenue, use "empowers".

I think allow is more realistic. How often do you really find software enabling? Yeah, usually it allows you to do what you want, with a whole bunch of difficult workflow.

The claim of enabling is implicitly stating your product is user friendly, it helps the user get what they want done without raising their anxiety level or blood pressure.

Sure, a popular word processor allows you to have consistent formatting within a document, but good getting it working when you past some text off the internet. Having that work would be enabling.

I'm a software developer, but I don't want to be know as an "enabler" (http://www.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/dictionary/enabler). Users have to take responsibility for their own actions and I don't want to continue to encourage their bad behaviors. ;-)

Totally agree.
Depending on the context, "facilitate" could also be a good alternative...

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