Future Media Standards & Guidelines

Standards & Guidelines Glossary

1. MUST, MUST NOT, SHOULD, SHOULD NOT, MAY

The key words MUST, MUST NOT, SHOULD and SHOULD NOT and MAY in bbc.co.uk standards & guidelines are to be interpreted in accordance with the following definitions:

  • MUST means an absolute requirement. Example: if you own a TV you must buy a TV licence.
  • MUST NOT means an absolute prohibition. Example: if you do not have a TV licence you must not own a TV.
  • SHOULD means a recommendation that may be ignored in particular circumstances but the full implications must be understood. Example: you should eat 5 portions of fruit and veg a day.
  • SHOULD NOT means not recommended although acceptable in particular circumstances but the full implications must be understood. Example: you should not drink too much alcohol.
  • MAY gives permission to perform a particular action, it should not be used to express a possibility, where you should use 'can' or 'might'. Example: you may choose which route you use to get from A to B but this route should be chosen to enable the shortest travel time.

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2. Other definitions

Best practice

Definition: a process which has been agreed as the most effective and efficient way of doing that action, but has not been officially accepted as a guideline.

Clickable content

Definition: content items that can be clicked. Examples: menu items, buttons, interactive elements of a game.

Core content

Definition: the fundamental reason for a web page, without which there would be no point to the page existing. For example, the core content on the CBBC Games page is all the games – if there were no games there would be no point to the page being there.

Deprecate

Definition: please try not to use this technology/tool/process in the future (NB. does not imply that existing items depending on the deprecated technology will no longer work). Example: use of vote.pl has been deprecated; recording on audio cassettes has been deprecated.

Decommission

Definition: this will not work any more if you are using it (after decommissioning date). Example: use of exec cgi has been decommissioned; analogue TV broadcasting after 2010 proposed switch-off.

Guideline

Definition: a guideline is something you SHOULD do, for the good of yourself and your colleagues. Example: Healthy Eating guidelines.

Progressive enhancement

Progressive enhancement is a strategy for web design that emphasizes accessibility, semantic HTML markup, and external stylesheet and scripting technologies. Progressive enhancement uses web technologies in a layered fashion that allows everyone to access the basic content and functionality of a web page, using any browser or Internet connection, while also providing those with better bandwidth or more advanced browser software an enhanced version of the page.

Standard

Definition: a standard is something you MUST do, for the good of yourself and your colleagues, which can be monitored and enforced. Example: UK Law.

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3. Symbols

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Vital information This symbol indicates vital information.

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