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Macromedia DreamWeaver 4 Evaluation

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 18 May 2001 12:46:32 -0400 (EDT)
To: WAI AU Guidelines <w3c-wai-au@w3.org>
cc: <smorrow@macromedia.com>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0105181230451.8720-200000@tux.w3.org>
This is Jan's evaluation of Dreamweaver 4.

I haven't done a lot of testing beyond that, but I have had a play with the
Accessibility checkers provided as extensions.

Macromedia's original one did about the same set of checks that Bobby does,
and that is all. As I recall it doesn't include anything about manual
checking.

The UsableNet extension claims to check for all WCAG 1.0 priority 1
checkpoints. It seems to do a lot of useful testing - I don't know if it does
all the checkpoints but I don't yet see that it doesn't.

It also provides a basic repair functionality - takes you to the relevant bit
of the document and highlights the problem, with smoe explanation of how to
repair it (or what to check, in cases where it relies on a manual check).

Again, I haven't tested it rigourously, but it appears on first glance to
meet the claim, that it covers priority 1 checkpoints of WCAG.

If this is the case, then Dreamweaver 4 with the accessibility checker from
UsableNet would meet Checkpoints 4.1 and 4.2 to level A.

I am also told that Dreamweaver implements MSAA to try and provide access to
assistive technologies. Since I use a Macintosh, I haven't been able to test
that at all.

In order to produce valid HTML 4 Dreamweaver needs to have the "add Doctype"
extension - without a doctype declared the only HTML spec that can be validly
met is HTML 2.

In order to produce XHTML (the latest recommendation) a similar extension
would need to be added - but it should only be a very simple one to produce.

If it is  used with a validating browser as a preview browser (for example
iCab, on the Mac) it can also validate.

It uses blockquote to indent/outdent, which is not too cool...

cheers

Charles


Received on Friday, 18 May 2001 12:46:34 GMT

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