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Re: How should EARL be used?

From: Shadi Abou-Zahra <shadi@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2006 09:57:20 +0200
Message-ID: <44E42160.7020005@w3.org>
To: Shane Anderson <shane@cpd2.usu.edu>
Cc: public-wai-ert@w3.org

Hi Shane,

There are indeed many use cases for EARL and it is therefore designed to be pretty generic. Before I start explaining what I meant by repository, here are a couple of resources that may be helpful:

* EARL 1.0 Guide - it is still an early draft but the first sections outline the basic concepts, design, and use cases of EARL; a recommended read:

* "Managing and Monitoring Web Site Accessibility" - a paper I wrote for a recent conference (ICCHP) and that outlines the use during evaluation:

Back again to what I meant with repository: basically an extension of your description of combining reports. An evaluation tool (automatic or manual) does not have to create customized EARL reports for end-users but rather output all the test results in EARL format. A second application layer takes the raw EARL assertions as input and creates customized reports according to the end-user needs.

In your example, who combines the output from WAVE and the validator? It could be WAVE that takes the validator output and integrates it into its own output, it could be the other way around, or it could be a third tool that is not even necessarily an evaluation tool per se (for example STEP that only processes evaluation results to create customized reports without actually executing tests).

In the third scenario we are already assuming some sort of repository. The results of evaluation (and possibly also quality assurance) tools are collected into a pool, then queries are run to filter out the necessary information. For example to create a report for a manager or one for a developer which would contain different level of detail. Such repositories could also contain results from previous evaluation runs, for example to monitor improvement over time.

So to summarize, we are not always speaking of EARL reports that are created when a single tool is run but of a collection of EARL assertions that may come from different sources or from different runs.


Shane Anderson wrote:
> Hello
> I am new to the group and have been listening in on the conference call for
> the past few weeks.
> One issue that I want to understand better is how EARL will be used. It
> seems to me that there are several ways to use EARL. One being the
> aggregation of several EARL reports to create a combined report. An example
> of this, in the context of the tool I work on (WAVE), would be to perform a
> WAVE evaluation producing an EARL report combined with an EARL report from
> the W3C's HTML validator. This idea could be extended to comparing and
> contrasting reports from other sources.
> Another possible use, as I understand it, would be to link EARL reports to
> the web page they represent. This would enable search engines or other 
> tools
> to use the EARL report as a source of meta data for the web page. Search
> engines, for example, could then use the meta data for ranking purposes,
> etc.
> Shadi, during today's conference call, mentioned something about an EARL
> repository. I did not quite understand the entire concept and it was off
> topic so Shadi asked me to bring it to the list. I think it is part of the
> bigger question, what are some of the other uses for EARL?
> Thanks
> Shane Anderson
> WebAIM.org

Shadi Abou-Zahra     Web Accessibility Specialist for Europe | 
Chair & Staff Contact for the Evaluation and Repair Tools WG | 
World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)           http://www.w3.org/ | 
Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI),   http://www.w3.org/WAI/ | 
WAI-TIES Project,                http://www.w3.org/WAI/TIES/ | 
Evaluation and Repair Tools WG,    http://www.w3.org/WAI/ER/ | 
2004, Route des Lucioles - 06560,  Sophia-Antipolis - France | 
Voice: +33(0)4 92 38 50 64          Fax: +33(0)4 92 38 78 22 | 
Received on Thursday, 17 August 2006 07:57:35 UTC

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