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Re: evaluating web applications (was Re: Canadian Treasury Board accessibility assessment methodology)

From: Peter Korn <peter.korn@oracle.com>
Date: Tue, 22 May 2012 14:24:24 -0700
Message-ID: <4FBC0408.30908@oracle.com>
To: Shadi Abou-Zahra <shadi@w3.org>
CC: Eval TF <public-wai-evaltf@w3.org>
Shadi,

I don't believe one can make an effective, useful, meaningful 
conformance claim <http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG/#conformance-claims> about 
many classes of web applications today.  That class includes things like 
web mail, and many kinds of portal applications (particularly where they 
only employ a single URI).

I do believe it will be possible to evaluate web applications for 
accessibility - similar to evaluating non-web applications for 
accessibility - but I expect we will need to do something that is 
different from the binary "perfection"/"imperfection" of the current 
conformance claim <http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG/#conformance-claims> 
rubric.  The Canadian Treasury Board example takes a step along that 
path in shifting from one binary "perfection"/"imperfection" statement 
to a two tiered, percentage collection of 38 binary 
"perfection"/"imperfection" statements.  But we need to go further than 
that.

I think the components of such a successful evaluation will need to:

  * Recognize (as EvalTF is already doing) that only a sampling/subset
    of everything that a user can encounter can be effectively evaluated
    in a finite and reasonable amount of time
  * Provide greater granularity in the evaluation reporting - one that
    is designed to accommodate the reality of imperfect software while
    nonetheless providing useful information to those consuming the
    evaluation report such that they can make informed decisions based on it
  * Incorporate the concepts (as EvalTF is starting to do) of uses (or
    use cases) of the application so that the evaluation is meaningful
    in the context of how the web application will be used


I am eager to get further into these discussions in EvalTF, some of 
which may be logical things to discuss as we review feedback from the 
public draft (including some of the Oracle feedback... :-).  And as I 
mentioned, we've already started exploring some of this already.


Peter


On 5/22/2012 2:09 PM, Shadi Abou-Zahra wrote:
> Hi Peter,
>
> Does that mean that web applications cannot be evaluated?
>
> Best,
>   Shadi
>
>
> On 22.5.2012 20:40, Peter Korn wrote:
>> Shadi,
>>
>> As is clear from the Notes&  Examples under their definition of "Web 
>> page" at
>> the bottom of the URL you circulated (below), it is clear they are 
>> looking to
>> assess on a Pass/Fail basis the full complexity of web applications. 
>> As we've
>> explored in recent EvalTF meetings, that is a very challenging thing 
>> to do,
>> given how dynamic web applications can be (cf. their examples of a 
>> "Web mail
>> program" and a "customizable portal site"). It is challenging in 
>> normal software
>> testing to determine whether you have reached every possible code 
>> path&  every
>> possible configuration of the structure behind a single URI, let 
>> alone answer
>> Pass/Fail for each and every WCAG A/AA SC for those.
>>
>>
>> Regards,
>>
>> Peter
>>
>> On 5/22/2012 6:10 AM, Shadi Abou-Zahra wrote:
>>>  Dear Group,
>>>
>>>  Ref:<http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/ws-nw/wa-aw/wa-aw-assess-methd-eng.asp>
>>>
>>>  David MacDonald pointed out the accessibility assessment 
>>> methodology of the
>>>  Canadian Treasury Board, in particular the scoring they use.
>>>
>>>  Best,
>>>  Shadi
>>>
>>
>> -- 
>> Oracle<http://www.oracle.com>
>> Peter Korn | Accessibility Principal
>> Phone: +1 650 506 9522<tel:+1%20650%20506%209522>
>> Oracle Corporate Architecture Group
>> 500 Oracle Parkway | Redwood City, CA 94065
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 
>>
>> Note: @sun.com e-mail addresses will shortly no longer function; be 
>> sure to use:
>> peter.korn@oracle.com to reach me
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 
>>
>> Green Oracle<http://www.oracle.com/commitment>  Oracle is committed to
>> developing practices and products that help protect the environment
>

-- 
Oracle <http://www.oracle.com>
Peter Korn | Accessibility Principal
Phone: +1 650 506 9522 <tel:+1%20650%20506%209522>
Oracle Corporate Architecture Group
500 Oracle Parkway | Redwood City, CA 94065
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: @sun.com e-mail addresses will shortly no longer function; be sure 
to use: peter.korn@oracle.com to reach me
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Green Oracle <http://www.oracle.com/commitment> Oracle is committed to 
developing practices and products that help protect the environment
Received on Tuesday, 22 May 2012 21:25:18 GMT

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