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Is standarisation of Web terminology in scope for QA?

From: Brian Kelly <b.kelly@ukoln.ac.uk>
Date: Mon, 22 Oct 2001 10:37:04 -0000
To: www-qa@w3.org
Message-ID: <002001c15ae5$7d8392f0$d513268a@ukoln.ac.uk>
I've recently joined the QA IG mailing list and have a question.

There is a need for standard definitions for We resources and Web usage.
This includes terms such as (for Web usage) "visits", "users", "unique
users" and "sessions" (for Web resources) "Web page" and "page size".

Definitions are needed in order that different applications (such as Web
log server analysis packages and Web auditing applications) will give
consistent and reproducible results.

As an example the Web accessibility tool Bobby and the NetMechanic Web
analysis services have different ways of measuring the size of a Web
page (Bobby only looks at the HTML file and images, whereas NetMechanic
looks at external CSS and JavaScript files).  Also these two
applications treat the robot exclusion protocol - REP -differently
(NetMechanic obeys it, and doesn't include the file size of any
resources which the REP stops it from looking at).

In addition there is no agreed way of handled negotiated content (file
formats, languages, page refresh and redirect) or frames.  

There is a need for standard definitions to support W3C's WAI Evaluation
work (file size affects accessibility ).  Languages such as EARL will
need this in order to record more objective summaries.

W3C did do some work in this area some time ago, as part of the Web
Characterisation activity - but this work stopped some time ago.

I am aware of two communities which appear to be addressing such
standardisation of terms: the Web Advertising Community and the Web
Auditing Community.  However their definitions appear to be different
("a session is use from the same IP address within a 30 minute period"
versus "a session finishes when a user leaves the Web site and visits
another one").  In addition these communities are probably not as aware
of the implications of new W3C technologies as members of this list and
don't appear to have addressed content negotiation issues.

Would addressing this issue be within the scope of the QA activity?   I
guess the "Coordination with External Groups" would support dialogue
with the Web Advertising and the Web Auditing Community standardisation



PS are any members of this list going to the W3C AC meeting in Nice next
Brian Kelly
UK Web Focus
University of Bath 
Email: B.Kelly@ukoln.ac.uk
Web: http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/
Phone: 01225 323943
Received on Monday, 22 October 2001 05:38:04 UTC

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