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Re: automated AAA services: views sought

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@sidar.org>
Date: Tue, 30 Sep 2003 15:29:04 -0700
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
To: Jonathan Chetwynd <j.chetwynd@btinternet.com>
Message-Id: <7F6F0202-F395-11D7-8DAF-000A958826AA@sidar.org>
In general anything that doesn't have valid code isn't WCAG double-A  
conformant (let alone triple-A).

In particular, there are validity errors on the page  
http://www.cianonline.org.uk/ - all related to wrongly encoding  
ampersands (the '&' character) which means they are real errors.

There are a couple of things that don't strike me as meeting WCAG, on  
top of this - there is no illustration on the page (checkpoint 14.3),  
there is dark blue text on light blue (checkpoint 2.2), and arguably  
their logo doesn't need to be a bitmapped image (checkpoint 3.1).

All told this isn't a massive and irredeemable accessibility failure,  
but it would be nice if claims like this that are demonstrably false  
were easily dealt with.

I don't see WAI having the resources to go chasing individual sites,  
and I don't think WAI can demonstrate that it is impossible to get  
accurate triple-A assessments using automatic tools. One could test a  
number of tools to clarify what they can and can't do - this is exactly  
the process that is being begun at the EuroAccessibility Consortium. I  
suspect this will show that there isn't a tool available that can give  
an accurate assessment completely automatically (which isn't the same  
thing as saying one is impossible).

In the meantime I have Bcc'ed them on this message, and perhaps they  
will be prepared to spend a few minutes discussing how to resolve the  
accessibility problems, or the claim made.

Interestingly Bobby itself says the page has  one actual error, as well  
as a number of user checks required (warning, long URI in pointy  
brackets):
<http://bobby.watchfire.com/bobby/ 
bobbyServlet?URL=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cianonline.org.uk%2F&output=Submit&gl= 
wcag1-aaa&test=>

Although I think Bobby is wrong about the error it finds, as noted  
above I think the user check on contrast (in particular for the  
contrast on the logo) got an incorrect result - that is that they  
disagreed with what I would have answered. Bobby also requires that you  
use the abbr or acronym elements, which the page does not do.  
(Interestingly, Bobby doesn't seem to provide any equivalent for WCAG  
checkpoint 14.3, even as a user check).

Cheers

Chaals

On Tuesday, Sep 30, 2003, at 11:13 US/Pacific, Jonathan Chetwynd wrote:

> I don't know how wide spread this practice is becoming, but feel we  
> may need to make it more clear that this practice is questionable.
> It reminds me of those £99  500x telescopes that fail to mention that  
> the image will be a vague faint blob with no features, or contrast.
> 20-50x is probably more realistic at this price point....
>
> WAI may need to make it more plain that an automated service cannot  
> provide AAA approval at this time.
> The following example is one I came across, that would appear to be  
> from a reputable source with serious intentions and laudable aims.
>
>
> http://www.charityskills.org
> Accessible websites   - free, self-edit, Bobby AAA-approved websites  
> with an editorial wizard that helps you create pages more accessible  
> to the learning disabled
>
> For an example of one of our free websites, please see  
> http://www.cianonline.org.uk/
>
> validator.w3.org has a list of 42 errors, some are not that  
> serious.......
>
> How do people feel about this? in particular? in general?
>
> thanks
>
> Jonathan
> http://www.peepo.co.uk
--
Charles McCathieNevile                          Fundación Sidar
charles@sidar.org                                http://www.sidar.org
Received on Tuesday, 30 September 2003 18:32:20 GMT

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