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Re: QA & A11y question: new w3c validator interface

From: olivier Thereaux <ot@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 21 Aug 2007 10:44:20 +0900
Message-Id: <9F24BB0F-9159-4E36-BF21-5C6E7003BAF5@w3.org>
Cc: wai-xtech@w3.org, www-validator Community <www-validator@w3.org>
To: Gregory J.Rosmaita <oedipus@hicom.net>

Hi Greg,

[
   for www-validator readers, context:
   http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/wai-xtech/2007Aug/ 
thread.html#msg76
]

On Aug 21, 2007, at 07:28 , Gregory J. Rosmaita wrote:
> is intended to hide the "advanced" options from the user, unless
> the "More Options" link is activated, but when i access the page
> using MSIE7 and the latest build of JAWS 8x, the entire content
> of the form, including the visually obscured portion is
> articulated; moreover, when i tab navigate the form, the tab
> navigation moves from invisible checkbox to invisible form control,
> until reaching the submit button...

For a comparison of the previous and current UI of the validator,
http://qa-dev.w3.org/wmvs/0.7.4/
versus
http://qa-dev.w3.org/wmvs/HEAD/

The earlier version of the UI had a number of usability issues, and  
was deemed ugly and hard to use by its core audience, which is why we  
worked on improving looks and usability. One notable issue that was  
reported to us several times, involved the scenario:
* a designer visits the validator home page
* … adds some content in the form
* … needs to set a specific option, clicks on the link that sends him  
to a separate page
* … and loses all the content he'd just set

To remedy this issue, we worked on keeping all the UI under a single  
URI, using CSS and scripting to tabulate between the types of input  
methods (URI, upload…) and to hide/show the extra options. The result  
has been hailed as progress in usability by the large majority of  
users of the validator, who can use the tool with graphical browsers  
featuring CSS and scripting support. Meanwhile, very special care was  
given to make sure that the interface would be semantically marked up  
(legend, label, …) and that the core functionality (entering content  
to be validated, setting options, submitting the form) would always  
be available to user agents without scripting and/or CSS enabled.

That's for the context. The choices of grouping all the UI under a  
single "page" and using scripting/css has its pros and cons, but we  
are certain that it brought a significant increase in usability for  
99% of users of the markup validator. That said, it would be  
fantastic if we could make some improvements over the current  
situation to make it more usable for non-mouse users, as e.g Gez noted.

The validator is open source
http://dev.w3.org/cvsweb/validator/
and practical suggestions, patches are more than welcome.

Please keep the www-validator list in the loop when you do so, or  
through bugzilla for precise bug reports and/or patches.
e.g http://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=4959

thank you.
-- 
olivier
Received on Tuesday, 21 August 2007 01:43:29 GMT

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