W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-wai-ert@w3.org > December 2005

Re: Accessibility Test Suite

From: Chris Ridpath <chris.ridpath@utoronto.ca>
Date: Fri, 9 Dec 2005 09:43:24 -0500
Message-ID: <061201c5fcce$e898d5c0$e29a968e@WILDDOG>
To: "Paul Walsh" <paul.walsh@segalamtest.com>, "'WAI ER IG List'" <public-wai-ert@w3.org>
Cc: <sorchamoore@segalamtest.com>, <davidrooks@segalamtest.com>

Paul,

(Oops. Please ignore my previous message. I accidentally hit the send button 
before the message was complete.)

> I have a problem with some of the wording in
> the Introduction section.
>
This is still very much draft text and most of it was lifted from an earlier 
techniques document:
http://www.w3.org/TR/2005/WD-WCAG20-HTML-TECHS-20050630/

The text needs work and will definitely change.

> The contents of this document is *not* the *only*
> method for testing conformance to WCAG 2.0.
>
Thanks for bringing this up. It's an important point that I think deserves 
discussion. Note that the following comments are mine and do not represent 
group consensus.

I believe there needs to be a clear method used to test conformance that we 
can all agree on. That's the purpose of the test suite. Each of the tests in 
the suite will be discussed by the WCAG group and the group must agree on if 
they are useful or not.

The current problem with the WCAG1 is that we disagree on what the 
guidelines mean. There is no standard to test if content complies or not.

The tests are used to detect when content does not comply with the 
guidelines. For example, if an image is missing alt text the content does 
not comply. People argued that the image could be described within the 
document and have no alt text yet still be accessible. However the group 
felt that all images must have alt text, or empty alt text for decorative 
images.

The tests are non-normative documents and will change over time, unlike the 
WCAG itself. If you have a method of creating accessible content yet breaks 
one of the tests then bring it up with the group. There is a process for 
creating techniques and tests so they may be used by all. If your method is 
accepted then it can be used by everyone. If it's rejected then we all know 
not to use it. What we need to avoid is the current confusion where anyone 
may claim conformance and there is no agreement.

Cheers,
Chris


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Paul Walsh" <paul.walsh@segalamtest.com>
To: "'Chris Ridpath'" <chris.ridpath@utoronto.ca>; "'WAI ER IG List'" 
<public-wai-ert@w3.org>
Cc: <sorchamoore@segalamtest.com>; <davidrooks@segalamtest.com>
Sent: Wednesday, December 07, 2005 8:41 PM
Subject: RE: Accessibility Test Suite


> Chris,
>
> I have a problem with some of the wording in the Introduction section.
> The following text has been taken from the first paragraph; "This test
> suite represents the best thinking of the Web Content Accessibility
> Guidelines Working Group and as such is the only method for testing
> conformance to WCAG 2.0.
>
> The contents of this document is *not* the *only* method for testing
> conformance to WCAG 2.0.  As a conformance specialist and 10 years
> experience in test management of Web sites and technologies, I strongly
> disagree with your statement. Therefore, I would like to propose the
> following text: "This test suite represents the best thinking of the Web
> Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group and as such is the
> *recommended approach* for testing conformance to WCAG 2.0.
>
> It's not important to give reasons why I hold this opinion, as you can't
> profess to know the 'only' method to validate anything.  I'm sure this
> was an oversight, but thought I'd bring it to your attention. If only I
> had time to read the rest of the document! :)
>
> My team is busy building lots of good stuff that you will soon hear
> about (possibly use), so resource is tight - although Sorcha and/or
> David will gladly help with document reviews.
>
> Thanks,
> Paul
>
>
>
>      -----Original Message-----
>      From: public-wai-ert-request@w3.org
> [mailto:public-wai-ert-request@w3.org] On
>      Behalf Of Chris Ridpath
>      Sent: 06 December 2005 20:01
>      To: WAI ER IG List
>      Subject: Accessibility Test Suite
>
>
>      On tomorrow's telecon [1] I'd like to give an overview of the
> accessibility
>      test suite that we've been working on.
>
>      The test suite can currently be found at:
>      http://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/WCAG20/tests/
>
>      The test suite can be used to test HTML content for conformance to
>      accessibility guidelines like the WCAG. It's not WCAG specific
> though and
>      can be used on other accessibility guidelines like 508 as well.
>
>      One of the problems with current accessibility guidelines is that
> they are
>      open to interpretation and we all interpret the guidelines
> differently. One
>      tool may claim that a page fails the guideline while another tool
> claims
>      that it passes. The test suite is designed to remove this
> ambiguity and
>      create a standard that can be used by all.
>
>      I'll give an overview of how the test suite was developed and how
> it may be
>      used by other tool creators in the group.
>
>      Cheers,
>      Chris
>
>      [1]
> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-wai-ert/2005Dec/0008.html
>
>
>
> 
Received on Friday, 9 December 2005 14:46:49 GMT

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