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RE: First Stab at Set of Principles for 'Minimum Conformance'

From: Cynthia Shelly <cyns@microsoft.com>
Date: Fri, 26 Oct 2001 10:46:30 -0700
Message-ID: <7164D4266FD7B94CA59D551C7FE6618D0278C12B@red-msg-08.redmond.corp.microsoft.com>
To: "_W3C-WAI Web Content Access. Guidelines List" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
I mean human testing or machine testing.

Basically, I mean that a professional software test organization could
build and execute a reasonable test plan based on the guidelines.
Additionally, that two professional software test organizations could do
so, and come up with something pretty similar.

For anyone who is not familiar with the practice of software testing, I
highly recommend this book.

Testing Computer Software, 2nd Edition
by Cem Kaner, Hung Quoc Nguyen, Jack Falk

-----Original Message-----
From: Kynn Bartlett [mailto:kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com] 
Sent: Thursday, October 25, 2001 10:46 PM
To: Cynthia Shelly; _W3C-WAI Web Content Access. Guidelines List
Subject: RE: First Stab at Set of Principles for 'Minimum Conformance'

At 10:31 AM -0700 2001/10/25, Cynthia Shelly wrote:
>Could you elaborate on why you think testability is an academic 
>I'd say it's just the oposite.  If I can test that I've done the thing,

>the thing is practical.  If I can't, the thing is academic.
>If the thing is academic, we can have long philosophical discussions 
>about whether or not I've done it (I'll bring the red wine <grin/>).  
>On the other hand, if the thing is practical, each of us can apply the 
>same test, and agree that I've done it.
>Separate point,
>I don't anyone has said "difficult to test" is the criteria for not 
>being included in the minimum set.  I think we've said "impossible to 
>test".  That's a big difference.

Speaking of "testing" do we mean automated tests, or tests by the
author, or user tests, or what?  I think we are using the very vague
word "test" in a sloppy manner, and at the very least the term when used
should be qualified with an adjective.

Otherwise our discussions will become even more muddled.

I think there are practical matters which cannot be "tested" but in
which a "judgment call" must be made.  As a trivial example,
"appropriate alt text."  (We all know that "existence of alt text" is
easily testable, but applicability is not a "test", it is a "judgment

The suitability of a given judgment call can be tested in practice by
suitable user testing but can't really be checked in any other
appropriate manner.


Kynn Bartlett <kynn@reef.com>
Technical Developer Liaison
Reef North America
Accessibility - W3C - Integrator Network
Received on Friday, 26 October 2001 13:47:02 UTC

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