Conformance of Yahoo PageBuilder 2.02x to W3C's Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines 1.0

DATE COMPLETED: 10 July 2000
LAST REVISED: 10 July 2000
EVALUATOR: Jan Richards <>

Introductory Comments and Notes

This evaluation was performed on Yahoo PageBuilder 2.02x/13t by Jan Richards between 1 July and 10 July.  PageBuilder is an on-line HTML authoring tool that appears to be aimed at novice users, since the tool enables users to construct pages without knowledge of HTML. A text-based tool for more advanced users is also available on the Yahoo Geocities site, but this was not reviewed.

This is a work-in-progress. Future revisions will incorporate feedback provided by the general public, members of the Authoring Tool Guidelines Working Group, and the manufacturer of the tool evaluated. This document, therefore, should only be referenced as a work-in-progress.

Conformance Evaluation of PageBuilder

Guideline 1 (GL1): Support accessible authoring practices

1.1 Ensure that the author can produce accessible content in the markup languages supported by the tool [Priority 1]
No. Most HTML accessible authoring practices are not possible using the automated editing procedures of this tool and there is no facility for editing the source directly.
1.2 Ensure that the tool preserves all accessibility content during authoring, transformation, and conversions [Priority 1]
No. The editor can only be used on files it creates. When a LONGDESC attribute was added to an IMG element in another editor and then re-opened in PageBuilder, it was removed.
1.3 Ensure that when the tool automatically generates markup it conforms to the W3C's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 [Relative Priority]
No. Text equivalents are not provided for all non-text elements that are automatically generated, such as applets and scripts for games, counters, etc. (Priority 1). Also the content produced by the tool is always formatted using a deprecated element (i.e. FONT) and tables for layout (both Priority 2).
1.4 Ensure that templates provided by the tool conform to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 [Relative Priority]
No. Templates include a large number of accessibility problems, including:

Guideline 2 (GL2): Generate Standard Markup

2.1 Use the latest versions of W3C Recommendations when they are available and appropriate for a task [Priority 2]
Yes. PageBuilder does appear to be producing HTML 4.0 according to the W3C validation service.
2.2: Ensure that the tool automatically generates valid markup [Priority 1]
Yes. It appears that PageBuilder can generate valid HTML 4.0 although several JavaScript errors were detected by the validation program.
2.3 If markup produced by the tool does not conform to W3C specifications, inform the author. [Priority 3]
No. PageBuilder does not inform the author of any non-conformance (ex. no ALT text for HTML 4.0).

GL3: Support the creation of accessible content

3.1 Prompt for the author to provide equivalent alternative information (e.g., captions, auditory descriptions, and collated text transcripts for video). [Relative Priority]
No. PageBuilder has a place to put "Screen Tip" (alt) text in the select picture dialog.  Alternatives for other multimedia objects are not available (Priority 1).
3.2 Help the author create structured content and separate information from its presentation.  [Relative Priority]
Yes at Level A. PageBuilder makes extensive use of tables and FONT. There is no way to avoid these (Priority 2).
3.3 Provide pre-written alt for packaged clip-art [Relative Priority]
No. While PageBuilder does provide many images, applets, etc. from an on-line repository, no pre-written alt text is available (Priority 1).
3.4 Do not automatically generate equivalent alternatives. Do not reuse previously authored alternatives without author confirmation, except when the function is known with certainty. [Priority 1]
Yes. PageBuilder does not automatically add any text to the equivalent alternatives.
3.5 Provide functionality for managing, editing, and reusing alternative equivalents for multimedia objects. [Priority 3]
No. PageBuilder does not include this facility.

Guideline 4 (GL4): Provide ways of checking and correcting inaccessible content

4.1 Check for and inform the author of accessibility problems [Relative Priority]
No. PageBuilder has no facility to check for accessibility problems automatically and does not advise users to make manual checks (ex. alt text - Priority 1).
4.2 Assist authors in correcting accessibility problems. [Relative Priority]
No.  PageBuilder has no facility to correct accessibility problems automatically and does not advise users on ways to make corrections (ex. alt text - Priority 1).
4.3 Allow the author to preserve markup not recognised by the tool [Priority 2]
No. It is not possible to enter markup manually into PageBuilder and it appears that unrecognised markup is stripped during saving (ex. longdesc - Priority 1).
4.4 Provide the author with a summary of the document's accessibility status [Priority 3]
No. PageBuilder does not include this facility.
4.5 Allow the author to transform presentation markup that is misused to convey structure into structural markup and to transform presentation markup for style into style sheets. [Priority 3]
No. PageBuilder does not include this facility.

Guideline 5 (GL5): Integrate accessibility solutions into the overall "look and feel"

5.1 Ensure that functionality related to accessible authoring practices is naturally integrated into the overall look and feel of the tool. [Priority 2]
Yes. PageBuilder provides a well-integrated mechanism for performing the only accessible authoring practice that it appears to support, what it terms "Screen Tip" (alt) text using the select picture dialog. Since this is the only way to add images, the author will more than likely see this prompt.
Note: No other accessible authoring practices are included, let alone integrated.
5.2 Ensure that accessible authoring practices supporting WCAG 1.0 Priority 1 checkpoints are among the most obvious and easily initiated by the author. [Priority 2]
Yes. The mechanism for adding a "Screen Tip" is obvious and easily initiated. However, as in 5.1, it is easy to meet this checkpoint when there are few accessible authoring practices implemented.

Guideline 6 (GL6): Promote accessibility in help and documentation

6.1 Document all features that promote the production of accessible content. [Priority 1]
Yes. PageBuilder does document the use of the "Screen Tip" (alt) text: "Enter the text you want your visitors to see when they hold their mousepointer over the image (Also called ALT text)."
6.2 Ensure that creating accessible content is a naturally integrated part of the documentation, including examples. [Priority 2]
No. PageBuilder includes no mention of accessibility in its help.
6.3 In a dedicated section, document all features of the tool that promote the production of accessible content. [Priority 3]
No. PageBuilder includes no mention of accessibility in its help.

Guideline 7 (GL7): Ensure that the Authoring Tool is Accessible to Authors with Disabilities

7.1 Use all applicable operating system and accessibility standards and conventions [Relative Priority]
No. PageBuilder requires use of the mouse and the screen for most aspects of its operation.
7.2 Allow the author to change the presentation editing views without affecting the document markup [Priority 1]

No. PageBuilder does not include this facility.

7.3 Allow the author to edit all properties of each element and object in an accessible fashion [Priority 1]
No. The dialog boxes used to edit object properties in PageBuilder are keyboard accessible (for the most part) but the mouse is required to get that far.
7.4 Ensure that the editing view allows navigation via the structure of the document in an accessible fashion [Priority 1]
No. PageBuilder does not include this facility.
7.5 Enable editing of the structure of the document [Priority 2]
No. PageBuilder does not include this facility.
7.6 Allow the author to search within editing views [Priority 2]
No. PageBuilder does not include this facility.


A preliminary conclusion is that Yahoo PageBuilder 2.02x is far from even single-A conformance in most areas. Therefore, Yahoo PageBuilder 2.02x does not conform to the Authoring Tool Guidelines 1.0 Recommendation.