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Re: new to group, want site to pass validators

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@sidar.org>
Date: Sat, 22 Feb 2003 04:02:25 +1100
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
To: tina@elfi.org
Message-Id: <4061A854-45BE-11D7-9525-000A95678F24@sidar.org>

Hi Shiela,

I agree with Tina that there are no tools that can do the whole job for 
you. If you are serious about wanting to keep accessibility as good as 
possible, I would suggest that you become as familiar as possible with 
W3C's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG - 
http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG10 - in my opinion the best available single 
reference, although there are others), and then look for tools that you 
find helpful.

Having worked on WCAG since the first W3C draft I rely on having a lot 
of it in  memory, and on using the checklist as a reminder when I am 
verifying my work. In my experience the best tools are ones which allow 
you to monitor a whole site in development, and most of them are 
commercial. Of the free tools available I have found the Wave and el 
TAW (in Spanish) suit my personal preferences and working style. I 
would prefer tools that integrate with my authoring environment better, 
but I have a weird authoring process so have to think a bit harder. 
There are a number of tools that integrate with commercial web 
authoring software - in any event my advice is to, look for something 
that suits you, and interpret its results in light of your own 
knowledge and what you learn.

There is a list of tools for evaluation and repair, both commercial and 
free, that is more or less maintained by W3C, at 
http://www.w3.org/WAI/ER/existingtools - I suggest looking there every 
so often for changes. This is a field with fairly significant 
development happening, so your choice today may not be the one you 
would make in a year, or would have made a year ago.



On Saturday, Feb 22, 2003, at 03:16 Australia/Melbourne, tina@elfi.org 

> First of all I
>  think we need to get a few concepts out of the way, namely that of
>  "Validation".
>   Typically that word refer to checking the HTML code for syntax 
> errors,
>  which is a straightforward matter for http://validator.w3.org/ - as 
> you
>  are probably aware, making sure documents are syntactically correct is
>  a WCAG checkpoint though sadly a priority 2.
>   What you seem to be looking for is a way to validate the
>  *accessibility* of a website. This is a far harder task. There are no
>  automated processes which can test for all aspects of accessibility.
Charles McCathieNevile           charles@sidar.org
Fundación SIDAR                       http://www.sidar.org
Received on Friday, 21 February 2003 12:02:12 UTC

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