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What Is EARL?

From: Sean B. Palmer <sean@mysterylights.com>
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2001 01:21:22 +0100
Message-ID: <001801c108d6$82257140$06d993c3@z5n9x1>
To: "William Loughborough" <love26@gorge.net>
Cc: <w3c-wai-er-ig@w3.org>
Since more and more people are starting to ask, we should probably
have some definitive answer that we all agree on (for any value of
all).

So, here's my first attempt at an elevator hook, arranged as "what",
"why", and "how":-

What:-
EARL - the Evaluation And Report Language - is an RDF based
system/model/framework/+ for making scoped evaluations about
resources/things/RDF resources/+, being developed by the W3C WAI
Evaluation and Repair Tools group. EARL is non constraining in the
range of things that can be evaluated, or the range of conformance
criteria that these things can be evaluated against, but it does
provide a vocabulary to facilitate scoped reports.

Why:-
EARL can be used for a number of applications, for example, Quality
Assurance, simple Web site ratings (er... too much like PICS in some
senses), authoring tool and user agent ratings and bug reports, device
independence testing and rating, and so on. Being based on RDF, EARL
is also Semantic Web compatable, and tools produced by the W3C's
Semantic Web activity may be able to be used on EARL.

How:-
In general, an EARL evaluation consists of a context, and then an
assertion which consists of the thing being evaluated, the conformance
criteria, and the validity status. For example, contextual information
may include information such as creator details, platform, and so on.
The thing beiong evaluated could be a Web page, or a tool. The
conformance criteria could be something like a WCAG checkpoint or a
syntax rule in a schema, and the validity status could be something as
simple as "pass or fail" or something more granular with, for example,
a certain level of confidence.

--
Kindest Regards,
Sean B. Palmer
@prefix : <http://webns.net/roughterms/> .
:Sean :hasHomepage <http://purl.org/net/sbp/> .
Received on Monday, 9 July 2001 20:21:57 GMT

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