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Re: Bobby


From: Holly Marie
Date: Sep 10, 2002 9:41AM

----- Original Message -----
From: "John Foliot - bytown internet"

| I personally have a concern with the Bobby icon as any means of
| compliance.

This exact topic has come up with any compliance type validation.
There are a few things that are glaring flaws.

W3 validator will validate for the mark up. However, just because mark
up validates does not necessary mean it is formatted correctly[headings,
paragraphs, etc... alt descriptors and their clarity.... colors and
their contrast... text and its sizing...] according to content


In many cases a site may have a front valid page, but fall apart
completely for the rest of the 5 - 100s or 1000s that follow into the

Passing a Bobby checkup, is much about opionions. Some of it is based on
structural facts, but the rest is really up to whomever looks and thinks
or feels their reviewed checkpoints pass the test. The language on that
check needs to be clearer and simpler.[therefor bobby fails on its own
run through] I know seasoned dev/designers that program and write or
author pages by hand and that set of items after a run, is confusing to
these people. So to the average author who may use editors that generate
mark up, and those that really do not know enough about mark up, these
people will be lost or guessing what it means.


Next. Validation at bobby is mostly based on opinion and interpretation,
and bobby also includes some validation flaws or guidance. I agree with
a previous writer and this needs to be fixed or ironed out if bobby is
to remain the tool that is available and predominantly noticed as *the
accessibility site* to check your work.

We have a hard enough time getting companies, gov entities, educational
institutions to look at access issues, let alone get their pages up into
*BOTH* the validator and Bobby along with other tools because both of
those tools fail on other levels. [and those items can be checked with
other online tools or methods.

| Web pages are generally organic things... they change and are modified
| time. Yet most developers (honest now - you too) don't ALWAYs verify
| modifications... time is precious, we're under deadlines, it's Friday
| afternoon at 5:15, etc., etc.

That is probably true, though I am very glad I learned to hand write the
markup and validate as I write, even before it gets uploaded or FTP
transported to the server for hosting. Validation and checking for
access should be ongoing things during development of any site doc, not
the once at the end set of tasks. And yes, it is easy to make one
modification and upload that page and have forgotten something or made a
mistake. So validate again once it is up, and these are habits people
need to be using or things that need to be one button installed into
every web editor. A round trip check and validation while working should
be available. [I often preview my pages in opera where I can choose the
Frame/Validate [w3c] option from my own desktop, before it is up on the

| Having a little icon down at the bottom of
| the page lulls us into a false sense of security. In the past week
| I've seen at least 6 pages with the Bobby Icon (and W3C HTML
| icon) which did not qualify. Was the developer deliberately seeking
| mislead? I doubt it, but none-the-less it was "false advertising".

Did you pop a note off to them? [/g]
Also, I have seen this too, and that is sheer ignorance on the part of
the web designer/developer or team of people in charge. If they are
displaying a web design company or firm that has that icon linked
directly to the check this page by having referrer in that link, someone
checking will find out soon enough - this company does not practise what
it preaches, or that design company will be actually giving some sort of
false message.... we talk about validation and guidelines, but it is not
that important really, because we don't pass either?

| Until such time as Bobby (or another, equivelant application) can
| dynamically parse a document and append a "stamp of approval" on ONLY
| compliant pages, I take the inclusion of the icon with a huge grain of
| And since the "accessibility" of a site cannot be judged via
| tests alone I don't think we'll ever see that day.

I think you are correct. To expect the whole Internet to fall into some
sort of compliance and guidelines by some date, is rather an
impossibility. Most of the authoring tools out there cannot produce a
clean document as it is, nor do they give appropriate built in guidance
on access issues. Some have really expensive marketing extensions
stuffed in there with whatever ploy to come upgrade to the better
service, and even those are not all that accurate or working well.

Maybe the tools should not allow a save for any html page without it
passing structure validation [w3c], and pop some warning... oops sorry,
you cannot save this page yet, until you clean it up. [how is that for a
idealistic fantasy?]
Same holds true with search engines and directories, maybe one cannot be
listed if it fails at least the structure guidelines.

| Don't get me wrong... stiving for and advocating accessible web sites
| (especially in the private sector) is an admirable and forward
| position and it should be recognized appropriately, but is the Bobby
| the right way to go? Perhaps an "Accessibility Matters" icon, with a
| to appropriate content would better serve the the common good. It
| convey that the developer was concerned about the site's
accessibility, that
| they worked hard at ensuring the site was accessibile, and if a user
| discovered an issue that the developer would appreciate hearing about
it so
| that it might be corrected.

I like that idea about Accessibility Matters, and a link to some clear
access info sites, or even the WAI quick tips, linked to the WAI A, AA,
AAA guidelines icons.

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