I need to refer to the attribute of a button that describes whether it is enabled or disabled. "Enablement state" sounds awkward and clunky.
I take it you mean a word for whether or not a button is "grayed out", not for whether it has turned something "on" or "off". If "state" or "mode" are too general or in use, then I suggest availability, which could have values "enabled" and "disabled".
It's not whether the button is enabled vs disabled, only that it is disabled or not. Hence the parameter that controls this behavior, in various software and html/css, is simply "disabled", which has a value true or false. It's also more handy in programming logic to treat a bi-state parameter in this way. Instead of all such parameters having all sorts of values you have to keep track of and compare as strings in conditionals. When you name and use a parameter as representing the truth or falsehood of only one of the states, then you can always test more quickly for true or false. Less typos and most programming languages provide shortcut conditionals, e.g. If(button.disabled) instead of if(button.state==disabled).
I think the answer lies in what are you disabling and enabling. The graphic of a toggle button is a verb in and of itself. If it has a label such as "water", you press the button in and as long as the button is in its inward state (or locked down), it's understood that water will continue to flow. As soon as you press the button again to return it to its outward state (or up), it's understood that the water will stop flowing. We already know the button is enabling or disabling something. What is it enabling and disabling?
One of my favorite synonyms to the enabled/disabled pair is the on/off pair. When looking up synonyms for "off" on thesaurus.com, one of its antonyms I found was "present" in the context of being absent/present.
These proved to be helpful, because there are words for the state of being present and the state of being absent (according to dictionary.com). They are "presence" and "absence" respectively. Which one you choose to use depends on what state of being you prefer as a default.
"what state of being you prefer as a default" basically means which state of being is more important to you and stands out?
In schools, absence is considered to significantly take away from your education, so addressing absence is more important to school teachers and admins than your actual presence.
In a program, a new feature's presence is considered more important than its absence. You don't ever want to state that a feature is or could be absent in a program. That's just (simply put) bad marketing.
Another example in programming that is the opposite of the previous example is bugs and their presence in a program. It is more important that bugs are absent than they are present.
I think "Enablement state" is as close as you can get.
Cody is looking for a noun to describe the variable that will contain either "enabled" or "disabled", not an adjective that describes its current state. ie. If presence means "the state of being present", then _____ means "the state of being enabled"
As others have suggested, the variable would be named "isEnabled" in code, but this is the English Language & Usage Stack Exchange and isEnabled isn't English. I don't think isEnabled has a direct counterpart in English, and "device is enabled" isn't a noun.
I'm writing a list in plain-english of different settings that can be set for a device. The term that our team chose seems to be "state of operation", but that is ambiguous because without context, it's not clear if the contents of that variable tells us if it's currently operating or whether it's meant to be operating. It is also vague as to what part of the device is enabled.
With "enablement state", it's clearer that it's describing the variable rather than the contents, and as a bonus it's possible to be more specific as to what is being enabled, such as "water enablement state" or "lantern enablement state". That said awkward and clunky are definitely the first two words that come to mind for this phrase.