oedipus | 6 Jun 22:05 2002
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persistent QA problems with the W3C Validator


in september 2001, in a post to www-validator <at> w3.org, archived at:
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-validator/2001JulSep/0516.html
i requested that the following accessibility/useability features be 
implemented in the new W3C validator format

1) add explicit LABELs to the FORM controls; also replicate the LABEL 
text using the "title" attribute ("alt" for SELECT) for each form control 
-- this will represent an enormous accessibility gain;

2) add a "Results" link in the "Jump to" bar, that takes one directly to 
the results, so that i, and other speech-output users don't have to listen 
to the form in order to ascertain whether or not the page has any errors 
(especially useful for those of us who put auto-validation links on our 
pages);

3) using an asterisk as hyperlink text is tantamount to using ASCII art
as a hyperlink - at the VERY least, please add a "title" to the following 
link:
	<a href="#sp-lim">*</a>
suggested title: <a href="#sp-lim" title="Caveat">*</a>

although these 3 requests were placed on the validator's "immediate to-do list", to date, absolutely NO
action has been taken on any of these requests, which are -- compared to actual validation code fixes --
trivial, and SHOULD, nay, MUST be implemented as soon as possible, if the W3C is to have any credibility
with the wider world...  how so? as you may or may not be aware, there is an entire domain of the W3C devoted
exclusively to accessibility issues, the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) -- it is incumbent upon the
W3C Validator, therefore, to comply to (at the very, VERY least) to level double-A of the Web Content
Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG - http://www.w3.org/TR/wcag10), although i would prefer if W3C shot
for the highest level of compliance, Triple-A (explanation of compliance 
(Continue reading)

Thanasis Kinias | 7 Jun 03:50 2002

Re: persistent QA problems with the W3C Validator


scripsit oedipus <at> hicom.net:

> 3) using an asterisk as hyperlink text is tantamount to using ASCII art
> as a hyperlink - at the VERY least, please add a "title" to the following 
> link:
> 	<a href="#sp-lim">*</a>
> suggested title: <a href="#sp-lim" title="Caveat">*</a>

The use of an asterisk to mark a footnote is hardly `ASCII art' -- it
has been established practice in print publishing for a long, long time.
It also established practice on the Web to link note markers to their
corresponding notes.  Given that there is a single footnote on the page,
it is completely logical and in conformance with the norms of print and
Web publishing, to use an asterisk to mark it.  This is, after all, what
an asterisk is for.

As a side note, you may find that your requests result in more positive
action when they are made with more politeness and less SHOUTING and
insults.

(And I'm not an opponent of accessibility.  I do all my work at double-
or triple-A WCAG compliance, and I basically initiated the Web
accessibility movement at my place of employment.)

--

-- 
Thanasis Kinias
Web Developer, Information Technology
Graduate Student, Department of History
Arizona State University
(Continue reading)

oedipus | 6 Jun 23:36 2002
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Re: persistent QA problems with the W3C Validator


TK: The use of an asterisk to mark a footnote is hardly `ASCII art' -- it has been established practice in
print publishing for a long, long time. It also established practice on the Web to link note markers to
their corresponding notes.  Given that there is a single footnote on the page, it is completely logical and
in conformance with the norms of print and Web publishing, to use an asterisk to mark it.  This is, after all,
what an asterisk is for.

GJR: fact 1 - a single asterisk is not going to be heard by most people using speech-output, but an asterisk
which is accompanied by a textual title will be accessible to most;

fact 2 - whether or not the use of an asterisk is "established practice" in the medium of print, the web isn't
print; all i requested was that when non-verbal/textual items are used as hyperlinks that they be glossed
with the "title" attribute; 

fact 3 - an asterisk is not an alpha-numeric character -- it is a symbol, which needs to be glossed so that
those, who have never seen an asterisk, those who can't perceive it, and those who aren't as familiar with
print conventions as you are understand precisely what the symbol symbolizes;

TK: As a side note, you may find that your requests result in more positive action when they are made with more
politeness and less SHOUTING and insults.

GJR: while i respect your opinion, and recognize your right to dump any emessages from me immediately into
the "trash", no one ever got anything by using mime as a protest medium -- when those who can effect change
don't, then it is time to shout...  why the strong language?  absolutely NO action has been taken on the
issues i raised last year -- not even those which were placed on the "immediate to-do" list (consult:
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-validator/2001JulSep/0557.html)

moreover, it IS inexcusable and unconscionable that the W3C Validator (and its validating bretheren) are
not WCAG-compliant, as WCAG 1.0 has been a W3C Technical Recommendation since 5 may 1999 -- why, then, has
the W3C Validator, whose interface was changed/updated in 2001, not sought to become WCAG-compliant at
(Continue reading)

Terje Bless | 7 Jun 10:34 2002
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Re: persistent QA problems with the W3C Validator


Gregory J. Rosmaita <oedipus <at> hicom.net> wrote:

>In september 2001 [...] I requested that the following
>accessibility/useability features be implemented in the
>new W3C validator format
>
>1) add explicit LABELs to the FORM controls; also replicate the LABEL
>text using the "title" attribute ("alt" for SELECT) for each form
>control -- this will represent an enormous accessibility gain;

To the best of my recollection without actually checking the code in
question, this has been done for every HTML form control. After your
message in September last year, I solicited the help of a few individuals
who have some measure of experience with accessibility issues. Adding
"label" elements and "title" attributes should have been completed during
that period. If there are any remaining form controls without such markup I
will make the necessary repairs this weekend.

May I assume that the Accessibility provisions in the HTML 4.01
Recommendation and the parts dealing specifically with HTML form controls
in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines are sufficient source material
for that task? If we factor out any mistakes on my part, of course. :-)

>2) add a "Results" link in the "Jump to" bar, that takes one directly to
>the results, so that i, and other speech-output users don't have to
>listen to the form in order to ascertain whether or not the page has any
>errors (especially useful for those of us who put auto-validation links
>on our pages);

(Continue reading)

Terje Bless | 7 Jun 10:47 2002
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Re: persistent QA problems with the W3C Validator


Gregory J. Rosmaita <oedipus <at> hicom.net> wrote:

>and, finally, i did not simply "shout", to use your term -- i offered
>concrete proposals, with concrete solutions, coupled with what could be
>construed as "inflammatory rhetoric", but there are no other words to
>describe the failure of the validator to comply with WCAG other than
>"inexcusable" and "unconscionable" -- all of the other words that come
>to mind are not quite "fit to print";
>
>if you don't like the wrapper, throw it away, but don't discard the
>concrete suggestions, nor discount the frustration and disillusionment
>of the disabled computer user...

Not to worry Gregory, I did not find you letter to be particuarly
inflammatory. You are right on the mark that these issues exist and that
they should have been dealt with long ago. I understand the frustration of
trying to bring about changes that seem critically important when no one
appears to be listening or, perhaps worse yet, listening but not doing
anything about it.

I think perhaps Thanasis is a bit sore due to some messages on this list a
while back that really were the email equivalent of a real world argument
consisting mostly of shouting and insults. At least I know they left /me/
with little incentive for being gracious about such things in the future.

But as I wrote above, your message simply didn't fall into that category.
You were, as always, more then within the bounds of normal courtesy and I
certainly consider it valuable feedback.

(Continue reading)

kynn | 7 Jun 20:59 2002

Re: persistent QA problems with the W3C Validator


Terje wrote:
> May I assume that the Accessibility provisions in the HTML 4.01
> Recommendation and the parts dealing specifically with HTML form controls
> in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines are sufficient source material
> for that task? If we factor out any mistakes on my part, of course. :-)

Also, the WCAG Techniques documents, especially the one for HTML.

--Kynn

oedipus | 7 Jun 18:27 2002
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Re: persistent QA problems with the W3C Validator


aloha, terje!

thank you for your quite complete response -- since you indicated 
that you could effect some changes this weekend, i will not attempt 
to reply to your emessage in its entirety, but to hit upon 3 
crucial issues...  i will endeavor to respond to your reply in full 
over the weekend or early next week, depending on time 
constraints...

TB1: The layout of the Validation Results page has changed yet again 
since your last comments. During this process, the indication of 
validity, or lack of it, was moved to the very beginning of the 
page. This was specifically to address your concerns. It was later 
moved away from there due to feedback indicating that it represented 
a usability problem for sighted users and because the accessibility 
gains for speech-output users as a result of the previous change 
were judged to be not very great.

GJR1: all i've ever wanted in this regard is the addition of a link 
in the "Jump to:" section, that would allow the user to jump right to 
the line "Below are the results of attempting to parse this document 
with an SGML parser" -- translated into code this would mean:

  <p>
    Jump to: <a href="#results">Results</a>, <a 
      href="#outline">Outline</a>, <a
      href="#source">Source Listing</a> or <a
      href="#parse">Parse Tree</a>.
  </p>
(Continue reading)

Charles McCathieNevile | 8 Jun 10:46 2002
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Re: persistent QA problems with the W3C Validator


Hi Terje,

I'd just like to second Gregory's comments about soliciting feedback on
wai-xtech <at> w3.org and the Interest Group list. I have to admit that I don't
watch www-validator much, and though I know there are a few accessibility
folks on that list I think that more feedback would come from the wider
accessibility-focused lists. (I should warn you that both of those lists are
open discussion with no formal ability to draw a consensus, so it might take
some time to let the discussion settle there before trying to pick out the
answers). But I do use both those lists and the validator, so would be
interested in the discussions there if they take off.

Cheers

Charles McCN

PS As far as I can tell W3C doesn't have any coffers to support thias kind of
thing. Sigh. I am sure they accept donations.

On Fri, 7 Jun 2002 oedipus <at> hicom.net wrote:

  TB2: If you could suggest some appropriate venues for soliciting help
  with improving the Accessibility of the Validator I'd appreciate it.
  I'm not in a position to pay anywhere near normal rates for such
  consultancy -- I'm a private individual with no access to any coffers
  the W3C may have for such eventualities -- but I should be able to
  give proper credit for such contributions on the web site, and I may
  be able to pay some symbolic fee out of my own pocket.

(Continue reading)

Ville Skyttä | 8 Jun 11:07 2002
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Re: Updated validator patches


On Thu, 2002-05-30 at 08:41, Terje Bless wrote:

> Ok, I've now applied the following patches.
> 
>  w3c-validator-errornumbers.patch      24-May-2002 20:19     1k  
>  w3c-validator-file-spec.patch         24-May-2002 20:19     2k  
>  w3c-validator-protocols.patch         24-May-2002 20:19     5k  
>  w3c-validator-referer-relpath.patch   24-May-2002 20:20     1k  
>  w3c-validator-result-form.patch       24-May-2002 20:19     3k  

Thanks.

> The checklink patches:
> 
>  w3c-validator-checklink-cleanup.patch 24-May-2002 20:19     9k  
>  w3c-validator-checklink-options.patch 24-May-2002 20:19     6k  
> 
> have _not_ been applied. The cheklink bit is nominally maintained by Hugo
> Haas, but he's been working on other things lately. I've pinged him about
> it and he's promised to "do something" about it ASAP.

Good...

> >RedHat 7.x RPM [...] at <URL:http://cachalot.ods.org/RPMS/>.
> 
> Your're building RPMs? Cool! Wanna volunteer to be the official RPM
> packager? :-)

Yep, been building them for some time now, and will do so in the future,
(Continue reading)

Terje Bless | 9 Jun 13:47 2002
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Re: persistent QA problems with the W3C Validator


oedipus <at> hicom.net wrote:

>GJR1: all i've ever wanted in this regard is the addition of a link in
>the "Jump to:" section, that would allow the user to jump right to the
>line "Below are the results of attempting to parse this document with an
>SGML parser"

The current state of things is that the first link in the navigation menu,
"Skip Navigation", will take you to a "Jump To" menu. This menu has links
to all the sub-sections of the results and the first link in it is
"Results", which will take you past the table of metadata and the form.

The "Skip Navigation" link has accesskey "s" and will have so on all pages
on the Validator.

>and, while it is true that LABELs have been added to the form located at:
>http://validator.w3.org/
>there are still no LABELs on the form that is included on the results
>page (that is, the page that appears after the validator has performed
>its analysis)

Ah, I seem to have developed scatterbrains in my old age. Sorry.

The version running on http://validator.w3.org/ is a fairly old one. The
current development code is running on http://validator.w3.org:8001/ ,
the development server. This version does have LABELs on the form.

All my earlier comments have been in the context of this new version of
Validator, but I failed to specify that.
(Continue reading)


Gmane