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Bulk use of accessibility checkers and other auditing tool

From: Brian Kelly <b.kelly@ukoln.ac.uk>
Date: Fri, 3 Aug 2001 12:15:11 -0000
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Cc: chitchcock@cast.org
Message-ID: <003401c11c15$f1b88fe0$d513268a@ukoln.ac.uk>
I am currently carrying out a benchmarking survey of a selection of Web
sites. The survey will look at measures such as the size of entry
points,  quality of HTML, WAI compliance, etc.  I will be using
Web-based tools, so that the method can be seen by all.  I'll also be
using freely-available Web services, so anyone can try the survey for
themselves. 

A couple of comments on my experiences so far:

It would be helpful if the Web services allowed summary information to
be provided.  The output from Bobby, for example, is intended for
reading and is wordy.  In other services, e.g. NetMechanic limitations
of the survey (e.g. page size not measured fully due to  service
respecting the Robot Exclusion Protocol and not analysing images) is
hidden away.

When comparing the file sizes using Bobby and NetMechanic I sometimes
get very different results.  This is due to a number of factors:  e.g.
some services only analyse the sizes of images and HTML files and do not
include external JavaScript files, CSS files, etc.;  some services
respect the Robot Exclusion Protocol, while others don't and services
will treat frames pages, splash screens, and other content-negotiated
files  differently (e.g. some report a very small entry point - which
can be due to analysing a redirect string or a page saying "Your browser
doesn't support frames").  

Has anyone provided standard definitions for what constitutes a page,
and what action user-agent should take when such strange things happen?
Are any auditing tools providing customisation over the actions they
will take?

Finally are any of the Web sites which provide such Web analysis
features looking at going down the "Web service" route, and providing
output in a machine understandable format - so that the results can be
more easily post-processed?

Thanks

Brian

PS I've been off this list for a while.  On re-subscribing I notice the
Welcome message refers to the WWW FAQ maintained by Thomas Boutell which
no longer exists.  I suspect several W3C mailing lists will include this
reference.  I think this message should be updated.

---------------------------------------
Brian Kelly
UK Web Focus
UKOLN
University of Bath 
BATH
BA2 7AY
Email: B.Kelly@ukoln.ac.uk
Web: http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/
Phone: 01225 323943
Received on Friday, 3 August 2001 07:17:23 GMT

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