W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ig@w3.org > July to September 2001

RE: Bulk use of [free] accessibility checkers (don't)

From: Brian Kelly <b.kelly@ukoln.ac.uk>
Date: Fri, 3 Aug 2001 17:23:51 -0000
To: "'Al Gilman'" <asgilman@iamdigex.net>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Cc: chitchcock@cast.org
Message-ID: <005101c11c41$10202a80$d513268a@ukoln.ac.uk>

> At 08:15 AM 2001-08-03 , Brian Kelly wrote:
> >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.
> There is a question of business justice, here.  It is not 
> fair to rely on the free Web-interactive services such as 
> Bobby at CAST for survey purposes.  
> Bulk work such as surveys should be performed with resources 
> provided by the activity doing the survey.  This is partly 
> where our clunky 'robot control' system came from.  There 
> have been problems with U.S. activities bringing the free 
> over-the-Web Bobby service to its knees in a de_facto 
> denial-of-service attack by putting production loads on the 
> web-published service.  Use the free service for samples, 
> please.  Not for surveys or other production runs.
> Those who wish to survey should reasonably expect to pay.  
> There is no excuse for assuming that people will render you 
> great gobs of service for free.  That which is appropriately 
> _de rien_ is in the eye of the service provider, not receiver.

Interesting point.

At the last W3C AC meeting I suggested that W3C should flag their
various services (e.g. HTML and CSS validation, XSLT transformation
services, etc.) as to whether they were intended from production use or
as pilots.  I don't think that's been addressed yet.

I don't think you can say that just because something is for free, it
shouldn't be used intensively - the open source lobby won't like you for
saying that!

Also the services are funded somewhere - and it may be that the funding
is to provide a global service.  This is the case for W3C's validation

Other free services may encourage survey use, if it increases traffic to
their site, and therefore advertising revenue.

So I would say it was for the service provider to define their usage

Note we should propably distinugush between automated use by programs,
and embedded URLs which are initiated by humans.  I was referring to the
latter use - e.g. see <http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue28/web-watch/>.

Brian Kelly
UK Web Focus
University of Bath 
Email: B.Kelly@ukoln.ac.uk
Web: http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/
Phone: 01225 323943 
> Al
Received on Friday, 3 August 2001 12:26:03 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 13 October 2015 16:21:13 UTC