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Re: Detecting types of web technologies (JQuery/AJAX)


From: David Dorward
Date: May 12, 2011 10:06AM

On 12 May 2011, at 15:39, Birkir R. Gunnarsson wrote:
> I am wondering if there is a tool or short cut that can analyze web
> pages for presence of technologies like JQuery or AJAX.

The use of either of these isn't going to automatically introduce accessibility
problems, so that doesn't seem like a particularly worthwhile goal.

> There is a page: http://www.syslumadur.is which has a list of items
> that produces a menus only when the mouse is used to hover over them.
> It clearly breaks the "keyboard only" accessibility criteria of WCAG
> and my screen reader does not even recognize these as links.

This could be achieved with or without jQuery (or any other JS library)
and with or without Ajax (and Ajax wouldn't be very useful for this task)

> I am wondering if I can detect the technology used to generate these
> with some software analytical tool, rather than reading through the
> web page code, some sort of a quick analysis of the underlying
> technologies.

I suspect it would be relatively easy (although computationally expensive
to do in bulk) to programatically point a web browser at a page, determine
which elements feature event handers that depend on mouse interaction and
see if they were keyboard accessible.

Determining if the mouse events were purely decorative, or if any related
keyboard interaction was a sufficient equivalent would be harder and likely
require manual intervention.

I think that asking questions like "Is there content that can only be revealed
with a mouse?" and "Is there any content that is inserted with JS that is not
easily discoverable to screen reader / braille display / etc users?" is far
more useful then "Is a particular JS library used?" and "Does JavaScript send
requests to the server?" (The answer to both of those questions is very
frequently going to be "yes" these days.

David Dorward