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Re: Selecting Web Accessibility Evaluation Tools

From: Sailesh Panchang <sailesh.panchang@deque.com>
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2005 18:27:30 -0500
Message-ID: <003801c504c7$c5adec80$a201a8c0@deque.local>
To: "'EOWG'" <w3c-wai-eo@w3.org>
Roberto,

I know you did not say anything about FrontPage or authoring tools, but I just brought up that issue because it is important to understand the distinction while scoping the content for this doc.

You ask: can the ability to detect violations of tools not be  considered as an aid to authors?
Answer: Sure, it is a feature of some tools. Some eval and repair tools can work as plug-ins to authoring tools like DreamWeaver, FP, HomeSite etc. That is  a feature one looks for in selecting a tool. I had listed this as one of the feature in my comments on the first draft put out some 2-3 months ago. 

Again it is incorrect to say  only limited tasks can b done by tools. As I said how many checkpoints can be covered by one tool versus another is a feature to be considered during tool  selection. 
  
I have never said human testing can be obviated. In fact I have said   certain violations cannot be  covered due to absence of definite algorithms. But Can one not concede that a tool can do several tasks far more efficiently and accurately than a human. And again some require user input and some do not.
Whether a tool can do a good job or not... I mean the accuracy in detecting violations as well as in fixing violations is a matter to be considered in  selecting a tool. One tool can do a better job than another and is more reliable. That is exactly what the doc should tell the reader. The doc should give a list of items to look for in a tool and  not say  say certain things are impossible or totally unreliable. Let the person selecting the tool evaluate which tool is good and which is not.
In fact ability to do certain tasks in an automated fashion too is a feature to be  considered in selecting a tool.

If a tool cannot do find and replace accurately and another can , then you know which one to buy. 

Will continue later. I am not done yet.
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> *
Received on Thursday, 27 January 2005 23:31:30 UTC

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