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Re: Severity Levels and the Categories

From: Francois Daoust <fd@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 2010 15:50:31 +0200
Message-ID: <4BCC5FA7.3060705@w3.org>
To: "María E. Fernández Menéndez" <mariaefm@gmail.com>
CC: public-mobileok-checker@w3.org
Hi María,

María E. Fernández Menéndez wrote:
> Hi everybody,
> I have a question about  the results of the mobileOK checker. I want
> to know if the Severity Levels and the Categories for the failures are
> described in a document. I was looking for them in the mobileOK Basic
> Tests 1.0 and in the Mobile Web Best Practices 1.0 but I wasn't able
> to find them.

It depends on what you mean by "described in a document".

The score, the severity levels and the categories returned by the W3C 
mobileOK Checker are not defined in any standard. In particular, the 
mobileOK Basic Tests 1.0 standard merely describes tests that either 
pass or fail, without taking any position on whether failing the test 
will strongly affect the resulting user experience or would almost go 

One of the reasons why the severity levels are not defined in any 
standard is that it would be very hard to affect a severity to each test 
with the "normative power" that a standard implies. For instance, a 
markup validation error is usually not a big deal in practice, but then 
it really depends on what the error is.

As such, the score, the severity levels and the categories only reflect 
personal opinions based on experience. They are not returned by the 
underlying mobileOK Checker library used by the W3C mobileOK Checker. I 
wouldn't be surprised to hear disagreement on the severity level of a 
given message, and I keep adjusting the levels from time to time. Even 
though they have limits, they are still very useful to help Web authors 
who are not used to the constraints of the mobile Web prioritize their 
work to address the mobile-friendliness of their content.

The categories come from the flipcards that we use to promote the Mobile 
Web Best Practices (e.g. in conferences). You can find an online version 
of the flipcards (available in multiple languages) at:

The severity levels are merely described in the help page of the W3C 
mobileOK Checker:

If you would like to know the severity level associated with each 
failure message, you will have to dig in the code of the user interface 
(look for <severity> tags in the following XSL stylesheet):


> Thank you very much. Best Regards, María
Received on Monday, 19 April 2010 13:51:02 UTC

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