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Re: WCAG 2.0 Conformance Claims

From: Shadi Abou-Zahra <shadi@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 12 May 2006 12:37:40 +0200
Message-ID: <44646574.2020906@w3.org>
To: public-wai-ert@w3.org

Johannes Koch wrote:
>> 1. Let us assume that Python applets are not in the baseline and that 
>> there is a fallback for each Python applet using a technology within 
>> the baseline, then the conformance claim applies to the fallback (and 
>> the Python applets must not interfere with the content). I don't know 
>> if EARL can take baselines into account (I'm too tired to check now). 
>> Maybe a "Baseline Description Language" would be useful?
> Again, I see this primarily as a WCAG issue, not an EARL issue. 
> Additionally we did not decide whether we want EARL to be used for 
> conformance claims.

Actually, we agreed that EARL should only say "content *such-and-such* has been tested by executing *this-test*" without mixing in any information about the test and how it fits into a conformance decision.

Thinking along these lines, in most cases "this-test" will be technology-specific. So the process for evaluation could be as follows:

1. the "baseline" and "conformance level" are input requirements into the evaluation process
2. tests are executed (based on the baseline and conformance level) and stored as EARL results
3. some kind of logic needs to make statements on the guidelines level based on these results
4. a conformance claim is made based on the conformance to the guidelines (results of step 3)

This can be expressed more generally and in non-WCAG 2.0 terminology:

1. testing requirements are identified
2. tests are executed based on the requirements and the results are stored
3. tests are combined to determine conformance to the requirements
4. the conformance to the initial requirements is published

There is clearly a close relationship between each of these steps but it seems that for 3 we may need a "test case description language", and for 4 a "conformance description language". Sadly we don't have any of these two in place right now. Despite these missing pieces, is this the kind of model we want to follow (EARL only focuses on storing results in step 2)?


Shadi Abou-Zahra     Web Accessibility Specialist for Europe | 
Chair & Staff Contact for the Evaluation and Repair Tools WG | 
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Received on Friday, 12 May 2006 10:37:50 UTC

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