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Re: Bobby Approval

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 28 Jun 2001 12:31:33 -0400 (EDT)
To: Shoshana Billik <shoshana@billik.com>
cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0106281222570.24014-100000@tux.w3.org>

Bobby is one of the (now multiple) accessibility evaluation tools.

It was perhaps the first, and when it came out it checke a few simple things,
and if your site passed those tests it said you might like to put a "bobby
approved" icon on your pages.

More recent versions provide more testing, and also ask you to perform a
number of manual tests before saying anything is "Bobby approved". If the
manual testing has been done properly (unfortunately it isn't always) and if
the Bobby automatic tests have not been tricked (they can be), then
effectively Bobby tests for level-A conformance to the Web Content
Accessibility Guidelines - i.e. it should be possible for anyone to use your
content, although it may still be very difficult.

Bobby has a version available on the web, where you can give it a single
page's URI and it will do a Bobby test, as well as being available as a
download for checking whole sites locally (for example before publishing).

Bobby is developed by an organisation called CAST, and more information about
the product is available at the Bobby website http://www.cast.org/bobby

There are a number of similar products now. Some include different kinds of
tests, some incorporate repair functions, some integrate with existing
authoring tools, some work in different languages such as french, spanish and
japanese, some are free and some must be paid for.

There is information about a range of tools on the "evaluation and repair
tools" page at W3C - http://www.w3.org/WAI/ER/existingtools


Charles McCathieNevile

On Thu, 28 Jun 2001, Shoshana Billik wrote:

          Hi, everyone!  I'm also new to the list and am wondering what is "Bobby

                                                          Thanks in advance,

  >   First, as I'm new to the list, a brief introduction: My name is
  >Tyler Kendall and I'm in charge of providing accessible web design
  >education, consulting, and review at NC State University.  "Hello!"
  >    I'm hoping to get a consensus of what people feel is the 'best
  >practice' regarding the use of ALT tags for spacer images.  I have been
  >recommending using ALT=' ' and giving the file a meaningful name (like
  >'spacer.gif').  The new access board guide to Section 508
  >(http://www.access-board.gov/sec508/guide/1194.22.htm) is the first
  >place I've seen this officially recommended - though I recall seeing it
  >used once or twice in examples in other guides.
  >    While this approach seems the best I've come across, I'm not
  >entirely pleased with it.  JAWS, the screen reader with which I have the
  >most experience, treats these images the same as images with no ALT tag
  >what-so-ever, and in many ways this seems to be a trick to get Bobby
  >approval.  Is there a better way to provide users of screen readers a
  >solution here?
  >    On a similar note, I've been recommending the use of ALT='bullet'
  >for graphic list bullets (when people seem unwilling to use the HTML
  >list markup), but I'm wondering, does ALT='*' has much support?

  *      Shoshana Bella Billik      *    shoshana@billik.com    *
  * ------------------------------  *    billiksh@batnet.com    *
  * http://www.billik.com/shoshana/ * shoshanochka@hushmail.com *

Charles McCathieNevile    http://www.w3.org/People/Charles  phone: +61 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative     http://www.w3.org/WAI    fax: +1 617 258 5999
Location: 21 Mitchell street FOOTSCRAY Vic 3011, Australia
(or W3C INRIA, Route des Lucioles, BP 93, 06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France)
Received on Thursday, 28 June 2001 12:31:36 UTC

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