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Re: [selecting eval tools] simplifying terminology and wording at beginning

From: Sailesh Panchang <sailesh.panchang@deque.com>
Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2005 10:25:23 -0500
Message-ID: <010301c4f403$f0a8cc90$a201a8c0@deque.local>
To: "'EOWG \(E-mail\)'" <w3c-wai-eo@w3.org>
Dear All,
My understanding of an evaluation  tool is something that can look at the underlying code and say whether or not it meets the guideline / checkpoint. It will verify the correctness  of the relevant accessibility technique incorporated. Some tools can cover more checkpoints than others and some checkpoints cannot really be verified because of absence of accessibility techniques to implement them, rendering the code really unverifiable  objectively.
     
Then there are tools that can be used to simulate  what the code will do. To do this one can use tools developed for the limited purpose of simulating the real world experience or use assistive technologies really used by PWD. It will be left to the user to determine if the code meets or fails the checkpoint. These tools in all likelihood  will not have the ability to report accessibility violations and specific instances where the code fails to implement accessibility techniques- a feature expected of evaluation tools (first category above).

Both these categories can be covered under the umbrella of "qquality assurance tools for accessibility".
The document being developed should focus on evaluation tools and  repair tools only. It should explain the difference between eval tools and other simulation / AT tools.  Another doc can  be devoted to them if needed.
Sailesh Panchang
Senior Accessibility Engineer 
Deque Systems,11180  Sunrise Valley Drive, 
4th Floor, Reston VA 20191
Tel: 703-225-0380 Extension 105 
E-mail: sailesh.panchang@deque.com
Fax: 703-225-0387
* Look up <http://www.deque.com> *



----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Shadi Abou-Zahra 
  To: 'Andrew Arch' 
  Cc: 'Steven Faulkner (E-mail)' ; 'EOWG (E-mail)' 
  Sent: Thursday, January 06, 2005 8:02 AM
  Subject: RE: [selecting eval tools] simplifying terminology and wording at beginning



  hi andrew,

  indeed, my take from the last call is that the term "Evaluation Tools"
  needs much more solid clarification. for example, also standard browser
  functions (such as turning off images etc) can be used to evaluate Web
  sites but it may seem a stretch calling these evaluation tools. maybe if
  this is explained more clearly in the introduction of the document,
  things may become clearer. do you have other suggestions?

  regards,
    shadi


  -----Original Message-----
  From: w3c-wai-eo-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-eo-request@w3.org] On
  Behalf Of Andrew Arch
  Sent: Thursday, January 06, 2005 01:07
  To: 'EOWG (E-mail)'
  Cc: shadi@w3.org; 'Shawn Henry'; Steven Faulkner (E-mail)
  Subject: RE: [selecting eval tools] simplifying terminology and wording
  at beginning



  Shawn/Shadi/All,

  Just re-reading Shawn's suggested re-wording of Shadi's draft [0] -
  certainly makes it clearer, but as a result highlights what appear to be
  gaps in the feature classification.

  For instance, would we classify WebAIM's WAVE [1] as a transformation
  tool?
  It is vastly different from a program like JAWS [2] that literally
  transforms the page from text to sound. Or would we classify the WAVE as
  a
  conformance tool? Again, while it clearly indicates areas on your page
  that
  fail specific checkpoints, it is quite different from programmes like
  Bobby
  [3] that provide a pass/fail type of report.

  And how would we classify our Accessibility Toolbar [4]? The Toolbar
  includes the option to "validate" pages and CSS, as well as providing a)
  a
  variety of "transformations" as per the WAVE, b) indicators of the
  presence
  of certain (potentially problematic) code and objects c) a variety of
  simulations (are these transformations?) and d) hooks into IE for other
  manual testing.

  I use both the WAVE and the Accessibility Toolbar for "conformance
  checking", and yet neither gives me a "report"!

  Taking Sailesh's comments [5] further, I think we need to think a little
  more about what we mean by Evaluation Tools (Repair Tools are probably
  clear
  enough?) and what features we all look for and/or use. Unfortunately I
  have
  no brilliant ideas immediately, other than to suggest that "conformance
  tools" might need to be broken to discuss automatic (limited)
  conformance
  checking and manual conformance checking. It may also mean some more
  thinking and reclassification of the ERT listing [6]. For instance,
  Sailesh
  suggests that JAWS should not be considered a transformation tool
  (though it
  fits Shadi's current definition), but raises the question of products
  like
  Home Page Reader [7], which is a useful analytical tool. And then where
  does
  Fangs [8] fit as a simulator of a screen reader?

  Seems like a good topic for a forthcoming EO meeting, or maybe a
  combined
  meeting with the ERT Working Group?.

  Andrew

  [0] http://www.w3.org/WAI/EO/Drafts/eval/selectingtools.html
  [1] http://wave.webaim.org/index.jsp
  [2] http://www.hj.com/fs_products/software_jaws.asp
  [3] http://bobby.watchfire.com/bobby/html/en/index.jsp
  [4] http://www.nils.org.au/ais/web/resources/toolbar/index.html
  [5] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-eo/2004OctDec/0147.html
  [6] http://www.w3.org/WAI/ER/existingtools
  [7] http://www-306.ibm.com/able/solution_offerings/hpr.html
  [8] http://sourceforge.net/projects/fangs/

  _________________________________
  Dr Andrew Arch
  Accessible Information Solutions, NILS
  Ph +613 9864 9282; Fax +613 9864 9370
  http://www.nils.org.au/ais/

  National Information and Library Service
  A subsidiary of RBS.RVIB.VAF Ltd.


  -----Original Message-----
  From: w3c-wai-eo-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-eo-request@w3.org]On
  Behalf Of Shawn Henry
  Sent: Saturday, 18 December 2004 3:09 AM
  To: EOWG (E-mail)
  Cc: shadi@w3.org
  Subject: [selecting eval tools] simplifying terminology and wording at
  beginning



  Shadi & EOWG,

  Below is a first pass at simplifying the beginning of the document.

  I feel pretty strongly that we should use only "evaluation tools" for
  the
  high-level term (e.g., in the title) - and then only where necessary use
  the
  specific "types" of tools.

  Best,

  ~ Shawn
  ========

  <h1>Selecting Web Accessibility Evaluation Tools

  <h2>Introduction

  Web accessibility evaluation tools are software programs that help
  determine
  if a Web site is accessible, and help improve Web accessibility. This
  document explains different features of evaluation tools and helps to
  determine which types of tools and features would best meet your
  specific
  needs.

  WAI encourages the development and evolution of Web accessibility
  evaluation
  tools, and maintains an <a>extensive list of evaluation tools</a>. WAI
  does
  not endorse or promote any specific tool or vendor.

  <h2>Features of Web Accessibility Evaluation Tools

  Web accessibility evaluation tools provide one or more of the following
  features:

  - Checks whether Web pages meet specific guidelines or standards, such
  as
  the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0. For example, the tool
  lists
  which guidelines the Web pages does and does not meet. [short example of
  results] These tools can be called "<strong>conformance tools</>."

  - Changes the appearance or presentation of Web pages, which can help
  identify potential accessibility problems. For example, the tool might
  read
  the Web page aloud (screen reader), or add HTML markup to the visual
  presentation of the page. [screen grab that matches written example]
  These
  tools are called "<strong>transformation tools</>."

  - Helps fix accessibility problems in Web pages. For example, the tool
  might
  provide a dialog box for entering missing alternative (ALT) text
  descriptions for images. [screen grab that matches written example]
  These
  tools are called "<strong>repair tools</>."

  - Checks whether Web pages meet Web specifications, such as HTML, XHTML,
  or
  CSS. These are called "<strong>validation tools</a>," and they evaluate
  more
  than specific accessibility issues.

  Web accessibility evaluation tools are usually stand-alone software, and
  sometimes are "plug-ins" for Web browsers or Web authoring tools (such
  as
  Web page editors, content management systems, or word processors). Some
  tools run periodically to monitor Web site accessibility. [wonder if
  this
  paragraph fits here or elsewhere?]
Received on Thursday, 6 January 2005 15:28:57 UTC

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