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Re: Randomly choosing pages

From: Detlev Fischer <detlev.fischer@testkreis.de>
Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2012 08:33:17 +0200
Cc: Eval TF <public-wai-evaltf@w3.org>
Message-Id: <EFDB7915-80B7-426B-AB3A-7AC4902D932D@testkreis.de>
To: Vivienne CONWAY <v.conway@ecu.edu.au>
Hi Vivienne,

I remember we have discussed this already at length without ever  
coming to a sound conclusion. I suggest a practical perspective: If it  
is to be mandatory that a part of the sample is found in a true random  
process, this imposes quite a hard requirement on the evaluator:

1) He/she has to judiciously apply some crawling tool to ensure that  
the applicable scope is fully crawled and all pages are included in  
the set (excluding those that are chosen by other means) - and the  
scope pf evaluation may include not just one simple hierarchical tree  
but several sub-domains, generated pages that even don't exist without  
user input, etc, so it is rarely an easy task, and quite hard for  
complex sites;

2) Then he/she has to apply a random procedure to the complete set of  
pages/ states within the scope by applying some random choice tool

I remember some of these tools were said to exist and might be put to  
practice, but the overhead of work seems inordinate for the added  
benefit of having a few truly random pages included. And all this  
hinges on the ability and means to verify that a truly random  
procedure has indeed be applied. Who is going to check this, from the  
outside? To enagle independent verification would mean that the  
crawing and selection stages and tools will have to be documented for  
the process to be potentially 'replicable' (with different results of  
course, otherwise it would not be truly random). And if (more than  
likely) *now one* will be willing and able to ever check, we are just  
left to *believe* that the 'random pages' were indeed chosen by true  
random sampling. The concencious ones will go to a lot of trouble for  
something unverifiable, the less conscientious ones will just take an  
informal 'random pick' and claim the pages were chosen 'at  
random' (which might even be true in the colloquial sense of the word).

I still don"t see the added benefit of making additional random  
sampling a mandatory (methodology) requirement...

Just my 2 cents, as they say - Detlev



On 14 Sep 2012, at 05:11, Vivienne CONWAY wrote:

> Hi all
>
> As we're giving some thought to the inclusion of randomly selected  
> pages for part of the sample, I'm wondering how people propose the  
> evaluator would generate the randomly chosen pages.
>
> Any thoughts?
>
>
> Regards
>
> Vivienne L. Conway, B.IT(Hons), MACS CT, AALIA(cs)
> PhD Candidate & Sessional Lecturer, Edith Cowan University, Perth,  
> W.A.
> Director, Web Key IT Pty Ltd.
> v.conway@ecu.edu.au
> v.conway@webkeyit.com
> Mob: 0415 383 673
>
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> From: Shadi Abou-Zahra [shadi@w3.org]
> Sent: Friday, 14 September 2012 5:07 AM
> To: Eval TF
> Subject: Minutes for Teleconference on 13 September 2012
>
> Eval TF,
>
> Please find the minutes for the teleconference on 13 September 2012:
>  - <http://www.w3.org/2012/09/13-eval-minutes>
>
> Next meeting: Thursday 20 September 2012.
>
>
> Regards,
>   Shadi
>
> --
> Shadi Abou-Zahra - http://www.w3.org/People/shadi/
> Activity Lead, W3C/WAI International Program Office
> Evaluation and Repair Tools Working Group (ERT WG)
> Research and Development Working Group (RDWG)
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-- 
Detlev Fischer
testkreis - das Accessibility-Team von feld.wald.wiese
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Received on Friday, 14 September 2012 06:21:24 GMT

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