Re: Comments-Selecting and Using Web Accessibility Evaluation Tools

Shadi writes:
>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 >conformance.
Your point that one needs to focus on a certain checkpoint or a group of related checkpoints is well taken. Likewise it may be necessary not to test for checkpoints that clearly do not  apply to a site. For example if my site has no multi media, I need not  check for those checkpoints. But consider a company that renders services and  has clients   with all kinds of websites.
So how many  focussed tools is the company expected to invest in?
A better option is to have a   a tool that can do a comprehensive  evaluation and  allows user to turn on / off the checkpoints that are not to be tested for the time being. And there are tools that can offer that  feature not only during  evaluation but also during reporting. So one should be able to evaluate  against all  checkpoints if one wants to but generate separate report  for specific checkpoint(s) for use by different developers.
I do not subscribe to the concept of focused tools- they are just incomplete tools   and the EO doc authors should not legitamize them. All tools should be compared  on one scale and one should be able to say that Tool X checks   compliance against n checkpoints and Tool Y checks against n + Delta checkpoints. 
Again  are all users in an org expected  to  learn the user interfaces and idiosyncrancies  and features of several tools?  Just the experts  should evaluate a tool and the org should standardize on one.
Then again there are tools that do only eval and some can do eval and repair. So this is a functionality offered and the user should knowingly select  one tool  that meets his / her needs.

Shadi, I also forgot an important feature in my previous mail: the tool should be accessible to users of assistive technologies.

Sailesh Panchang
Senior Accessibility Engineer 
Deque Systems,11180  Sunrise Valley Drive, 
4th Floor, Reston VA 20191
Tel: 703-225-0380 Extension 105 
Fax: 703-225-0387
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Received on Friday, 15 October 2004 22:27:17 UTC