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RE: Defining website scope using Sitemap protocol

From: Wilco Fiers <w.fiers@accessibility.nl>
Date: Mon, 28 Nov 2011 09:44:58 +0100
To: Eval TF <public-wai-evaltf@w3.org>
Message-ID: <7E0E35835EAF514AAAE44748A5EAAE2E0170D9291319@CPMBS-ZH01.kpneol.local>
Hi all,

I like the idea of using the sitemap protocol. But I have my reservations about using it to define the scope of a website. A few problems come to mind here, I'd be interested to see if we can solve them. First up the sitemap protocol seems to be about identifying specific pages, where as in scope it seems to me that we should find a way to express large collections of pages. We can't exactly define the scope of a site with a million pages by simply listing every URI. So that's where our needs differ from that of the sitemap protocol.

The second problem I see is about clearity to users. An XML format is a very transparant format, but it isn't exactly user friendly. I think visitors of the website should be able to understand the scope of the conformance claim without having an understanding of XML. So perhaps we could find an alternative way to express the scope that is understandable for users without a tech degree.

Wilco
________________________________________
Van: Alistair Garrison [alistair.j.garrison@gmail.com]
Verzonden: zondag 27 november 2011 22:00
Aan: RichardWarren; Eval TF
Onderwerp: Re: Defining website scope using Sitemap protocol

Hi Richard, EVAL TF,

It was with the exact hope of defining a super clear, unambiguous and verifiable scope that I suggested using the sitemap protocol (or possibly something like it)...  The sitemap protocol is, I believe, an XML based format for clearly stating relevant descriptions of URI's for inclusion in a sitemap (or in fact anything which is a collection of web pages), and it is already apparently widely used and adopted.  To be very clear the sitemap protocol is not in itself a tool, however, output in the sitemap protocol format is widely supported by many crawling / site mapping tools.

I suppose what I was thinking of was to use the sitemap protocol to allow the owner, the evaluation team and any future evaluators or moderators to define exactly what was included in the evaluation and what was not.  In a manner which they are already familiar with...

Still, I think, central to the scoping issue is the question "Are we seeking to attest a conformance claim for a web site (or other) made by someone (the developer, the owner, etc...) using WCAG 2.0 Understanding Conformance document  http://www.w3.org/TR/UNDERSTANDING-WCAG20/conformance; or are we seeking to test what we think is good to test (Section 7) then provide a conformance claim for that?"

If we are seeking to attest a conformance claim made by someone else - Section 7 could be defined in a simple line: "The scope of the evaluation is defined as all urls for which a conformance claim is being made, formatted using the sitemap or other similar protocol".  Otherwise, if we are seeking to test what we think is good to test then provide a conformance claim for that - I would support Richard's Section 7 concept as a reasonable place to start.

All the best

Alistair

On 27 Nov 2011, at 17:25, RichardWarren wrote:

Dear Kathy and Alistair,

The purpose of the scope statement in the eventual evaluation should be to help future evaluators or moderators know what has been evaluated. A clear scope statement ensures that :-
a) The owner, the evaluation team and any future evaluators or moderators know exactly what was included in the evaluation and what was not.
b) Users of the website can distinguish which parts are compliant and which parts may not be compliant.

We cannot dictate what tools, if any, are used to help define the scope. Our concern is that the eventual scope statement is clear, unambiguous and verifiable. That is why I suggested the following as an initial draft for section 7


7. Procedure to express the Scope of the evaluation

While the WCAG 2.0 Recommendation focus on webpages, the Evaluation
Methodology focuses on evaluating the conformance of a website. This means
that it is important to define what is considered to be part of the website
and what is not. To be more precise, to define what is part of the coherent
collection of one or more related web pages that together provide common use
or functionality. This can include static web pages, dynamically generated
web pages, and/or web applications.

A clear scope statement ensures that
a) The owner, the evaluation team and any future evaluators or moderators
know exactly what was included in the evaluation and what was not.
b) Users of the website can distinguish from the URI and any link text which
parts are compliant and which are not.

7.1 Key functionalities
The primary purpose of the website should be defined. This sets the context
of the evaluation. It is important that any exceptions (see 7.3 below) do
not prevent the website from performing this function in a compliant way.

7.2 Base URI
The use of the URI is the clearest way to define the scope of an evaluation.
The base URI is the most appropriate starting point. This would normally be
a domain name such as mysite.com<http://mysite.com>, but it could be a subsection such as
mysite.com/education/<http://mysite.com/education/>. If everything within that domain or subdomain is to
be included in the evaluation then that single statement is sufficient.

7.3 Exceptions
Where part of a site or sub-site is to be excluded from the evaluation it is
important to clearly state the relevant descriptions and URI's of sections
to be excluded or included. The decision regarding whether to specify the
inclusion or exclusion areas will depend upon the size and detail of the
part to be excluded or included. In addition to the URI the
inclusion/exclusion statement should include a text description. For example
"The application process initiated by the form at
mysite.com/forms/application/appform.php<http://mysite.com/forms/application/appform.php> is excluded from this evaluation"

7.4 Complete Processes
Whilst it is desirable to test individual components of an application
during development this approach is not supported by this evaluation
methodology. If any part of a process is to be excluded from the evaluation
then the whole process should be excluded.

7.5 If the overall evaluation process is to be divided into teams of
evaluators (e.g. for a large site) then each team will have its' own
specific scope statement for the relevant task in hand. A single, combined,
meaningful scope statement must also be prepared to cover the whole
evaluation.

Regards

Richard





From: Kathy Wahlbin<mailto:kathy@interactiveaccessibility.com>
Sent: Sunday, November 27, 2011 3:29 PM
To: 'Alistair Garrison'<mailto:alistair.j.garrison@gmail.com> ; 'Eval TF'<mailto:public-wai-evaltf@w3.org>
Subject: RE: Defining website scope using Sitemap protocol

Hi Alistair 

I think that is a good place to get started and to see the pages on the site but we need to keep in mind that these are only for the areas that webmasters want search engines to crawl.  There may be areas of the site that need to be reviewed that were excluded from this sitemap.xml file.

Another way to get an idea of scope is to use the functions in the content management system (CMS) to see all the pages on the site.  Within the CMS, the number of templates and common components could also be identified which could help defined scope.

Regards,

Kathy

Phone:  978.443.0798
Cell:  978.760.0682
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From: Alistair Garrison [mailto:alistair.j.garrison@gmail.com]
Sent: Saturday, November 26, 2011 8:06 AM
To: Eval TF
Subject: Defining website scope using Sitemap protocol

Dear all,

It seems that a good number of website owners / webmasters submit a sitemap to search engines.  The schema of choice for this sitemap (file) is apparently the Sitemap protocol - http://www.sitemaps.org/ (supported by Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft.)

What would your thoughts be on using this sitemap file generated for a website, by the website owners / webmaster, to define the scope of a website? Possibly answering the question - How can an evaluator express the scope of a website.

Would be interested to hear thoughts / comments.

All the best

Alistair
Received on Monday, 28 November 2011 08:45:42 GMT

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