Mac Software For Language Complexity Analysis

Language complexity is a topic in linguistics which can be divided into several sub-topics such as phonological, morphological, syntactic, and semantic complexity.[1][2] The subject also carries importance for language evolution.[3] Although the concept of language complexity is an old one, the current interest has largely emerged since the beginning of the 21st century as it was previously considered problematic in terms of political correctness.[4][page needed]

Language complexity has been studied less than many other traditional fields of linguistics. While the consensus is turning towards recognizing that complexity is a suitable research area, a central focus has been on methodological choices. Some languages, particularly pidgins and creoles, are considered simpler than most other languages, but there is no direct ranking, and no universal method of measurement although several possibilities are now proposed within different schools of analysis.[5]


How complex the language is to use is somewhat subjective. On the other hand, questions about how complex the language semantics are, can be answered, but only when compared with other languages. These are not necessarily useful, however. For example, I would give Smalltalk a semantic complexity of 1 and C a complexity of 9. Sep 15, 2019  We’ve found some standout Mac and cloud-based CAD platforms for you. You’re likely to hit a wall if you’re searching for computer-aided design (CAD) software designed for Mac. There are plenty of CAD software options for Windows—you’ll see many of them in our list of the top AutoCAD alternatives—but only a handful offer support for Mac.

Macos app store. Throughout the 19th century, differential complexity was taken for granted. The classical languages Latin and Greek, as well as Sanskrit, were considered to possess qualities which could be achieved by the rising European national languages only through an elaboration that would give them the necessary structural and lexical complexity that would meet the requirements of an advanced civilization. At the same time, languages described as 'primitive' were naturally considered to reflect the simplicity of their speakers. On the other hand, Friedrich Schlegel noted that some nations 'which appear to be at the very lowest grade of intellectual culture', such as Basque, Sámi and some native American languages, possess a striking degree of elaborateness.[5]

Darwin considered the apparent complexity of many non-Western languages as problematic for evolution theory which in his time held that less advanced people should have less complex languages. Darwin's suggestion was that simplicity and irregularities were the result of extensive language contact while 'the extremely complex and regular construction of many barbarous languages' should be seen as an utmost perfection of the one and same evolutionary process.[6]

Equal complexity hypothesis[edit]

During the 20th century, linguists and anthropologists adopted a standpoint that would reject any nationalist ideas about superiority of the languages of establishment. The first known quote that puts forward the idea that all languages are equally complex comes from Rulon S. Wells III, 1954, who attributes it to Charles F. Hockett. Within a year, the same idea found its way to Encyclopædia Britannica:

'All languages of today are equally complex(.) -- There are no 'primitive' languages, but all languages seem to be equally old and equally developed.'[5]

While laymen never ceased to consider certain languages as simple and others as complex, such a view was erased from official contexts. For instance, the 1971 edition of Guinness Book of World Records featured Saramaccan, a creole language, as 'the world's least complex language'. According to linguists, this claim was 'not founded on any serious evidence', and it was removed from later editions.[7] Apparent complexity differences in certain areas were explained with a balancing force by which the simplicity in one area would be compensated with the complexity of another; e.g. David Crystal, 1987:

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'All languages have a complex grammar: there may be relative simplicity in one respect (e.g., no word-endings), but there seems always to be relative complexity in another (e.g., word-position)'.[8]

In 2001 the compensation hypothesis was eventually refuted by the creolistJohn McWhorter who pointed out the absurdity of the idea that, as languages change, each would have to include a mechanism that calibrates it according to the complexity of all the other 6,000 or so languages around the world. He underscored that linguistics has no knowledge of any such mechanism.[8]

Revisiting the idea of differential complexity, McWhorter argued that it is indeed creole languages, such as Saramaccan, that are structurally 'much simpler than all but very few older languages'. In McWhorter's notion this is not problematic in terms of the equality of creole languages because simpler structures convey logical meanings in the most straightforward manner, while increased language complexity is largely a question of features which may not add much to the functionality, or improve usefulness, of the language. Examples of such features are inalienable possessive marking, switch-reference marking, syntactic asymmetries between matrix and subordinate clauses, grammatical gender, and other secondary features which are most typically absent in creoles.[8]

During the years following McWhorter's article, several books and dozens of articles were published on the topic.[4][page needed] As to date, there have been research projects on language complexity, and several workshops for researchers have been organised by various universities.[1]

Complexity metrics[edit]

At a general level, language complexity can be characterized as the number and variety of elements, and the elaborateness of their interrelational structure.[9][10] This general characterisation can be broken down into sub-areas:

  • Syntagmatic complexity: number of parts, such as word length in terms of phonemes, syllables etc.
  • Paradigmatic complexity: variety of parts, such as phoneme inventory size, number of distinctions in a grammatical category, e.g. aspect
  • Organizational complexity: e.g. ways of arranging components, phonotactic restrictions, variety of word orders.
  • Hierarchic complexity: e.g. recursion, lexical–semantic hierarchies.[10]

Measuring complexity is considered difficult, and the comparison of whole natural languages as a daunting task. On a more detailed level, it is possible to demonstrate that some structures are more complex than others. Phonology and morphology are areas where such comparisons have traditionally been made. For instance, linguistics has tools for the assessment of the phonological system of any given language. As for the study of syntactic complexity, grammatical rules have been proposed as a basis,[8] but generative frameworks, such as Minimalist Program and Simpler Syntax, have been less successful in defining complexity and its predictions than non-formal ways of description.[11][page needed]

Many researchers suggest that several different concepts may be needed when approaching complexity: entropy, size, description length, effective complexity, information, connectivity, irreducibility, low probability, syntactic depth etc. Research suggests that while methodological choices affect the results, even rather crude analytic tools may provide a feasible starting point for measuring grammatical complexity.[10]

A comparison[edit]

Guy (1994)[12] illustrates the point[which?] by comparing two Santo languages he has worked on that are about as closely related as French and Spanish, Tolomako and Sakao, both spoken in the village of Port Olry, Vanuatu. Because these languages are very similar to each other, and equally distant from English, he holds that neither is inherently biased as being seen as more easy or difficult by an English speaker (see difficulty of learning languages).


Sakao has more, and more difficult, vowel distinctions than Tolomako:

Tolomako vowels
Sakao vowels (partial)
close mideøo
open midɛœɔ

In addition, Sakao has a close vowel /ɨ/ that is unspecified for being rounded or unrounded, front or back, and is always unstressed. It also has the two diphthongs/œɛ, ɒɔ/, whereas Tolomako has none.

In addition, it has more and more difficult consonant distinctions:

Tolomako consonants
Sakao consonants
voiceless trill

In addition, Sakao consonants may be long or short: /œβe/ 'drum', /œββe/ 'bed'

Tolomako has a simple syllable structure, maximally consonant–vowel–vowel. It is not clear if Sakao even has syllables; that is, whether trying to divide Sakao words into meaningful syllables is even possible.

Tolomako syllable structure
Sakao syllable structure
V (a vowel or diphthong) surrounded by any number of consonants:
V /i/ 'thou', CCVCCCC (?) /mhɛrtpr/ 'having sung and stopped singing thou kept silent'
[m- 2nd pers., hɛrt 'to sing', -pperfective, -r continuous].


With inalienably possessed nouns, Tolomako inflections are consistently regular, whereas Sakao is full of irregular nouns:

na tsiɣo-kuœsɨŋœ-ɣ'my mouth'
na tsiɣo-muœsɨŋœ-m'thy mouth'
na tsiɣo-naɔsɨŋɔ-n'his/her/its mouth'
na tsiɣo-..œsœŋ-..'..'s mouth'
na βulu-kuuly-ɣ'my hair'
na βulu-muuly-m'thy hair'
na βulu-naulœ-n'his/her/its hair'
na βulu-..nøl-..'..'s hair'

Here Tolomako 'mouth' is invariably tsiɣo- and 'hair' invariably βulu-, whereas Sakao 'mouth' is variably œsɨŋœ-, ɔsɨŋɔ-, œsœŋ- and 'hair' variably uly-, ulœ-, nøl-.


With deixis, Tolomako has three degrees (here/this, there/that, yonder/yon), whereas Sakao has seven.

Tolomako has a preposition to distinguish the object of a verb from an instrument; indeed, a single preposition, ne, is used for all relationships of space and time. Sakao, on the other hand, treats both as objects of the verb, with a transitive suffix -ɨn that shows the verb has two objects, but letting context disambiguate which is which:

'He hits (kills) the pig with a club'
'He hits (kills) the pig with a club'

The Sakao could also be mɨjilɨn amas ara

The Sakao strategy involves polysynthetic syntax, as opposed to the isolating syntax of Tolomako:

Sakao polysynthesis
Mɔssɔnɛshɔβrɨn aða ɛðɛ (or: ɛðɛ aða)
'He kept on walking along the shore shooting fish with a bow.'

Here aða 'the bow' is the instrumental of sɔn 'to shoot', and ɛðɛ 'the sea' is the direct object of hoβ 'to follow', which because they are combined into a single verb, are marked as ditransitive with the suffix -ɨn. Because sɔn 'to shoot' has the incorporated object nɛs 'fish', the first consonant geminates for ssɔn; ssɔn-nɛs, being part of one word, then reduces to ssɔnɛs. And indeed, the previous example of killing a pig could be put more succinctly, but grammatically more complexly, in Sakao by incorporating the object 'pig' into the verb:

mɨjilrapɨn amas

Guy asks rhetorically, 'Which of the two languages spoken in Port-Olry do you think the Catholic missionaries learnt and used? Could that possibly be because it was easier than the other?'

Language complexity and learning[edit]

A common conventional wisdom is that some languages are inherently harder to learn than others as first or second languages, due to their greater complexity. However this belief is as of yet not supported by sufficient scientific evidence.

The perceived difficulty of second language acquisition seems to largely depend on the similarity between the learner's native language and the language they are learning. In a study conducted in 2013, scientists [13] used FSI’s data to try to identify the criteria that have an influence on the difficulty of foreign language learning.

  • First, a language that is genetically related to the learner's native language will be easier to learn than a language from a different family. This is mostly due to language structure. The closer a language is to another, the more similar their structures will be (this applies to sounds, grammar, vocabulary, and so on).
  • Another criterion is the writing system. Learners will be quicker to learn a language which uses the same writing system as their own native language.

Therefore, the most complicated language to learn for an English native speaker would be for example a non-Indo Europeanergative language with a different writing system and with postpositions instead of prepositions.

Another study [14] conducted in 2006, started with the common idea that Arabic is hard to learn for an English native speaker, more so than Spanish or German. This study is also based on the FSI classification of languages according to their difficulty, placing Arabic in the fourth (relatively difficult) group. The study compares Arabic with languages usually perceived as easier to learn and concludes that Arabic is not inherently more complex than these languages. The study provides a list of linguistic properties that make Arabic actually simpler than these languages. For instance, despite the complexity of Arabic consonant roots, the Arabic verbal system relies on very specific sub-rules and uses only a single verb paradigm. On the other hand, Spanish is more complex than Arabic in its verbal tenses. French is more complex in its phoneme-grapheme correspondence. German, Polish and Greek have more complex systems of case inflections. Japanese has a more complex writing system. The fact that English native speakers perceive Arabic as particularly difficult to learn would then not be due to Arabic being inherently harder but rather to the fact that its structure and writing system are very different from English.

The belief that some languages are inherently harder to learn is less commonly found for first language learning, although first language acquisition should probably be more strongly correlated with the language's inherent complexity. Some studies have tackled this question. For instance, there is evidence from Danish that children learning a language with a complex sound structure might be slightly delayed in their lexical development.[15] Danish has a complex phonological system, with extensive lenition of plosives. In line with the hypothesis that a more complex phonology entails greater difficulties in word learning, Danish children were found to have a slight delay in early lexical development compared to children speaking other languages (although they seem to catch up when they reach two years of age). This suggests that sound structure might have an influence on the difficulty of a language. There is, however, not enough evidence as of yet to confidently say that some languages are globally easier or harder to learn as a first language.

Language complexity and creoles[edit]

It is generally acknowledged that, as young languages, creoles are necessarily simpler than non-creoles.[16] Guy believes this to be untrue[citation needed]; after a comparison with Antillean Creole, he writes, 'I assure you that it is far, far more complex than Tolomako!', despite being based on his native language, French.

Computational tools[edit]


  1. ^ abMiestamo, Matti; Sinnemäki, Kaius; Karlsson (eds.), Fred (2008). Language Complexity: Typology, Contact, Change. Studies in Language Companion Series. 94. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. p. 356. doi:10.1075/slcs.94. ISBN978 90 272 3104 8.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  2. ^Wurzel, Wolfgang Ullrich (2001). 'Creoles, complexity, and linguistic change'. Linguistic Typology. 5 (2/3): 377–387. ISSN1430-0532.
  3. ^Sampson, Geoffrey; Gil, David; Trudgill (eds.), Peter (2009). Language Complexity as an Evolving Variable. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 328. ISBN9780199545223.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  4. ^ abNewmeyer, Frederick J.; Preston (eds.), Lauren B. (2014). Measuring Grammatical Complexity. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN9780199685301.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  5. ^ abcJoseph, John E.; Newmeyer, Frederick J. (2012). ''All Languages Are Equally Complex': The rise and fall of a consensus'. Historiographia Linguistica. 39 (3): 341–368. doi:10.1075/hl.39.2-3.08jos.
  6. ^Darwin, Charles (1871). The descent of man, and selection in relation to sex. London: John Murray. OCLC39301709.
  7. ^Arends, Jacques (2001). 'Simple grammars, complex languages'. Linguistic Typology. 5 (2/3): 180–182. ISSN1430-0532.
  8. ^ abcdMcWhorter, John H. (2001). 'The world's simplest grammars are creole grammars'. Linguistic Typology. 5 (2/3): 125–166. doi:10.1515/lity.2001.001. ISSN1430-0532.
  9. ^Rescher, Nicholas (1998). Complexity. A philosophical overview. New Brunswick: Transaction. ISBN978-1560003779.
  10. ^ abcSinnemäki, Kaius (2011). Language universals and linguistic complexity : Three case studies in core argument marking (Thesis). University of Helsinki. Retrieved 2016-04-28.
  11. ^Hawkins, John A. (2014), 'Major contributions from formal linguistics to the complexity debate', in Newmeyer, Frederick J.; Preston, Laurel B. (eds.), Measuring Grammatical Complexity, Oxford: University Press, pp. 14–36, doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199685301.003.0002, ISBN9780199685301
  12. ^Jacques Guy, 'sci.lang FAQ', message-ID: [email protected], sci.lang, 1994, December 1
  13. ^Cysouw, Michael (2013). 'Predicting language-learning difficulty'. In Borin, Lars; Saxena, Anja (eds.). Approaches to Measuring Linguistic Differences. De Gruyter Mouton. pp. 57–82. ISBN978-3-11-048808-1.
  14. ^Stevens, Paul B. (2006). 'Is Spanish really easy? Is Arabic really so hard? Perceived difficulty in learning arabic as a second language'. In Wahba, Kassem M.; Taha, Zeinab A.; England, Liz (eds.). Handbook for Arabic Language Teaching Professionals in the 21st Century. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. pp. 35–66. ISBN978-0-203-76390-2.
  15. ^Bleses, Dorthe; Vach, Werner; Slott, Malene; Wehberg, Sonja; Thomsen, Pia; Madsen, Thomas O.; Basbøll, Hans (2008). 'Early vocabulary development in Danish and other languages: A CDI-based comparison'. Journal of Child Language. 35 (3): 619–650. doi:10.1017/S0305000908008714. Retrieved 2020-05-18.
  16. ^'Creole and pidgin language structure in cross-linguistic perspective Abstracts'. Retrieved 2015-08-11.


  • Miestamo, Matti (2008). Language Complexity: Typology, Contact, Change. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company. ISBN978-90-272-3104-8.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Ristad, Eric (1993). The Language Complexity Game. Cambridge: MIT Press. ISBN978-0-262-18147-1.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Sweet, Henry (1899). The practical study of languages; a guide for teachers and learners. London: J. M. Dent & Co. Retrieved 2011-03-15.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Sampson, Geoffrey (2009). Language Complexity as an Evolving Variable. Oxford Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press. ISBN978-0-19-954522-3.
  • Di Garbo F, Olsson B, Wälchli B (eds.). 2019. Grammatical gender and linguistic complexity I: General issues and specific studies. Berlin: Language Science Press. ISBN978-3-96110-179-5. doi:10.5281/zenodo.3446224. Open Access.
  • Di Garbo F, Olsson B, Wälchli B (eds.). 2019. Grammatical gender and linguistic complexity II: World-wide comparative studies. Berlin: Language Science Press. ISBN978-3-96110-181-8doi:10.5281/zenodo.3446230. Open Access.
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If you’re looking for CAD software for Mac, you’re not without options. We’ve found some standout Mac and cloud-based CAD platforms for you.

You’re likely to hit a wall if you’re searching for computer-aided design (CAD) software designed for Mac. There are plenty of CAD software options for Windows—you’ll see many of them in our list of the top AutoCAD alternatives—but only a handful offer support for Mac.

And, if you think you’ll bypass the issue by using a cloud-based CAD tool, you’ll quickly find that CAD vendors haven’t embraced the cloud as much as other types of software vendors have, so the offerings are still largely on-premise. According to Gartner’s Hype Cycle for IT Evolution (full content available to Gartner clients), cloud-native CAD applications still have five to 10 years before they reach mainstream adoption.

But fear not, Mac users. We’ve done some digging and have put together this list of the top-rated CAD software for Mac. Read more about our methodology at the bottom of this article.

5 Best CAD Software for Mac (presented alphabetically)

Jump to:

  • CorelCAD

  • FreeCAD

  • Fusion 360

  • LibreCAD

  • Onshape

1. CorelCAD

CorelCAD offers 2D drafting and 3D design capabilities, such as the drawing constraints feature for creating different geometric shapes faster and the push and pull feature for 3D direct modeling.

3D modeling in CorelCAD (Source)

Common user feedback trends

Based on analyses of user reviews on Capterra, here’s an overview of the areas of CorelCAD they like best, as well as those they feel could use improvement.

What users like:

  • The short learning curve: Users mention that the tool is easy to use and beginners don’t have to spend a lot of time learning it.
  • Compatibility with multiple file types: Users like the fact that the tool is compatible with DWG, PDF, ACIS, DXF, STL, CDR, and other file formats.

What users think could be improved:

  • Software reliability issues: Some users mention that the software tends to crash at times.
  • Better dimension functionality: Some users would like a better dimensioning feature for more accurate drawings of angles and proportions.

Who can use CorelCAD

CorelCAD can be used by construction businesses for collaborative editing on multiple devices. It offers native iOS applications, which makes it easy for field crews to add annotations in graphics and share files using their iPhones and iPads. Additionally, the tool allows team members to leave recorded messages and instructions for colleagues embedded in the graphics using a voice note tool.

2. FreeCAD

FreeCAD is an open source CAD tool that works on Mac as well as Windows and Linux. It reads many common file formats such as STEP, IGES, STL, SVG, DXF, OBJ, IFC, and DAE.

It offers different modules, including a drawing sheets module that converts 3D models into 2D views, a rendering module that can export 3D objects, and an architecture module for a BIM-like workflow.

3D model of a building in FreeCAD (Source)

Common user feedback trends

Based on analysis of user reviews on Capterra, here’s an overview of the areas of FreeCAD they like best, as well as those they feel could use improvement.

What users like:

  • Feature-richness for a free tool: Users mention that, although it’s free, the tool comes with a full set of features.
  • Reliability: Users mention that the tool does not demand a lot of CPU power and works well on devices with low RAM.

What users think could be improved:

  • Steep learning curve: Users mention that the tool is not the most user-friendly solution and can be difficult for beginners to learn.
  • Dependent on community for updates: Users mention that modules ignored by the community tend to become outdated quickly.

Who can use FreeCAD

FreeCAD appears to be best for hobbyists and home users. It’s also good for users who don’t have a high budget for software but still want to tinker with CAD modeling.

FreeCAD could also be a good choice for businesses on a budget looking for a free and open-source option.

3. Fusion 360

Fusion 360 is a CAD tool from Autodesk with design functionalities such as sketching and 3D modeling. It also supports project management with features such as task management, document management, and collaborative image editing.

Document management in Fusion 360 (Source)

Common user feedback trends

Based on analysis of user reviews on Capterra, here’s an overview of the areas of Fusion 360 they like best, as well as those they feel could use improvement.

What users like:

  • Comprehensive design features: User mention that the tool offers all the functionalities necessary for 2D and 3D designing.
  • Availability of training resources: Users like the fact that the tool comes with ample documentation and tutorials.

What users think could be improved:

  • System crashes: Users mention that the tool tends to crash, especially when designing and rendering large files.
  • Steep learning curve: Users mention that it can take a lot of time to learn the advanced functionalities of the tool.

Who can use Fusion 360

Fusion 360 is part of the Autodesk ecosystem designed for the AEC industry. This makes the tool suitable for construction businesses that are already using, or intend to use, other Autodesk solutions. Using a software vendor that offers multiple solutions will especially benefit larger businesses that invariably need software that can scale with their growing requirements.

4. LibreCAD

LibreCAD is an open source CAD tool that supports Mac, Windows, and Linux operating systems. The tool comes with 2D drawing features such as a snap tool, dimensioning, and annotations. It also supports multiple file imports and exports.

2D drawing in LibreCAD (Source)

Common user feedback trends

Mac Software For Language Complexity Analysis Examples

Based on analysis of user reviews on Capterra, here’s an overview of the areas of LibreCAD they like best, as well as those they feel could use improvement.

What users like:

  • Ease of use: Users mention that the tool offers an intuitive and easy-to-use interface.
  • Lots of tutorials: Users like the fact that there are ample video tutorials that help them get started with the tool.

What users think could be improved:

  • Software speed: Users mention that the software tends to lag, especially when trying to print designs.
  • Add support for 3D design: Users would like to see functionalities for creating 3D designs.

Who can use LibreCAD

LibreCAD is an exclusively 2D CAD tool for drawing and designing blueprints of buildings, layouts of parks, and the like. As a free tool, the solution can be used by small and midsize businesses across different industries, including manufacturing, engineering, architecture, and construction.

5. Onshape

Onshape is a cloud-only CAD solution that comes with features such as document management with version control, collaborative design creation/editing capabilities, and reporting dashboards to understand project status.

Importing documents in Onshape (Source)

Common user feedback trends

Based on analysis of user reviews on Capterra, here’s an overview of the areas of Onshape they like best, as well as those they feel could use improvement.

What users like:

  • Document version control: Users like the document management features of the tool, such as version history.
  • Intuitive interface: Users mention that the tool comes with an intuitive interface for easy image editing.

What users think could be improved:

  • Performance issues: Some users mention that the tool does not function well on non-Chrome browsers and has file loading issues.
  • Lack of features: Users mention that the tool should improve certain features such as 2D drawing and 3D surfacing.

Who can use Onshape

As a fully-cloud based tool, Onshape is ideal for businesses that need to manage design documents collaboratively with multiple stakeholders. The tool’s collaboration functionalities include document sharing, document editing, comments, and file downloads in multiple CAD formats, such as Parasolid, ACIS, STEP, and IGES.

Mac Software For Language Complexity Analysis Example

Next steps

This report offers a mix of Mac CAD solutions—from free tools that can help you with basic 2D drawing to advanced solutions offering extensive 3D modeling functionalities.

Mac Software For Language Complexity Analysis Software

If these tools don’t meet your needs, expand your search and check out more options. To help you, we’ve created a CAD software comparison page where you can explore products using different filters, such as features offered and pricing options.

If you’re looking to understand the CAD software market better, we also recommend that you read the articles listed below:


To be shortlisted, products had to fulfill the following criteria:

  • Products had to be compatible with Mac and offer core CAD software capabilities, such as:
    • 2D drawing or 3D modeling features
    • Collaborative editing of drawings
  • Products needed a minimum of 20 user reviews on Capterra (published in the last two years).
  • Products had to have a high overall rating (an average of at least 4 out of 5 on Capterra).

Mac Software For Language Complexity Analysis Pdf

Note: The content in this piece that provides opinions and points of view expressed by users. It does not represent the views of Capterra.

Looking for Construction Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Construction Management software solutions.