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RE: Comments-Selecting and Using Web Accessibility Evaluation Tools

From: Shadi Abou-Zahra <shadi@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 15 Oct 2004 23:42:05 +0200
To: "'Sailesh Panchang'" <sailesh.panchang@deque.com>
Cc: "'EOWG'" <w3c-wai-eo@w3.org>
Message-ID: <001701c4b2ff$d1242cb0$870af951@K2>

Hi Sailesh,

Testing with a focused tool which assists in examining a specific issue
in greater detail may sometimes (for example during design and
development stages) be more helpful than a full evaluation to determine

I'd like to take your thoughts about focused tools and your suggestion
about revising the tone of the document towards using a combination of
tools to a future call and get the overall opinion of the group on them.

Thanks for your comments!


-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-eo-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-eo-request@w3.org] On
Behalf Of Sailesh Panchang
Sent: Friday, October 15, 2004 17:41
Subject: Comments-Selecting and Using Web Accessibility Evaluation Tools

Under Checkpoint Support:


Labeling some tools as focused is only legitimizing their inadequacies
and hence I disagree with the need to differentiate between general and
focused tools. In fact users of tools should be aware that not all tools
cover all checkpoints or handle all technologies and they should check
them out. This is   kind of vindicated with the statement in this
section that says:

"It is important (for the tool) to address all relevant checkpoints in
order to determine a conformance level". So the terms general and
focused are not needed.


Likewise a good tool is one that covers all possible checkpoints that
can be done in an automated fashion and does a good job with all the
checkpoints. As a practical measure users may invest in more than one
tool to make sure that all violations are being identified accurately-
And they will do so in evaluating the tool and deciding which one meets
their needs well. But this doc should not prescribe combining tools as
the standard way to go by saying “may be the best way to reach an
appropriate level of checkpoint support.” 

Ability of a tool to do the following, for instance, distinguishes a
good tool from one that is inadequate:   

- identify violations accurately, 

- allow judgmental input from tool-user during violations identification

- allow users to specify options for evaluating certain checkpoints that
need such user-specified parameters (eg. Number of contiguous links that
make a group for checkpoint 13.6)   

- allow users to specify how certain violations should be fixed when
there is more than one way of doing so

- Coverage and format of reports

- handle different technologies  

- ease of use, ease of learning and help features etc.


Using different tools in fact lead to different kinds of reports, need
for all users to learn different tool interfaces etc which is not
optimal at the organizational level in the long run.

The document should highlight how tools differ so that users are aware
of what to look for in a tool. In reading this doc I saw that it
recommends   using more than one tool. This is done in several places.
Instead the doc should say that one org might decide that using more
than one tool best meets its needs. But this is by no means a norm and
the doc should not strongly advocate this route by repeating this advice
in several places.

Sailesh Panchang
Senior Accessibility Engineer 
Deque Systems,11180  Sunrise Valley Drive, 
4th Floor, Reston VA 20191
Tel: 703-225-0380 Extension 105 
E-mail: sailesh.panchang@deque.com
Fax: 703-225-0387
* Look up <http://www.deque.com> *

Received on Friday, 15 October 2004 21:42:06 UTC

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