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What is Cynthia (was Re: priority rating)


From: Patrick Taylor
Date: May 27, 2003 6:03PM

Hi Stephen

We seem to be in a "golden age" of accessibility checkers. Cynthia, I
believe, is short for Cynthia Says, the one of the latest accessibility
checkers (Bobby, Cynthia Says, Ask Alice, AccVerify, Wave ...)

Some resemble Bobby but have (according to their authors) more advanced
checking algorithms. Cynthia Says seems to be a bit better than Bobby
but still has it's share of dumb warnings -- it flags null alt tags on
images (ie putting alt="" on an image tag) when those are necessary for
purely decorative images. It has some other minor quirks.

YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary) but here is a dump of my accessibility
checker bookmarks:

Cynthia Says

Wave 3.0 Accessibility Tool
[From WebAIM itself. Simultaneously very helpful and terribly
disorienting because it attempts to overlay its report graphically on
the webpage itself. Icons may be more confusing than helpful but I am
getting used to it. May be just to advanced for my brain]

Ask Alice
[haven't looked at it in a while but I seem to remember that it has an
annoying registration system that refuses to accept Canadian postal
codes. You need to enter 12345 or an American style zip code to use it]


Bobby Worldwide


W3C HTML Validator

W3C CSS Validator

My own personal caveat: In the end no automated accessibility checker
can beat a good manual examination assisted by a checklist and trying
to apply best practices to the initial design. The checkers are useful
for catching some of the grosser mistakes, but I wouldn't depend on a
page being accessible on the say so of Bobby (for example).


On Tuesday, May 27, 2003, at 06:15 PM, Stephen Morgan wrote:

> Dear Mike
> Read the posting. Have I missed something? What is Cynthia?
> Kindest regards
> Stephen Morgan
> Idamus Ltd
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "masadelante" < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
> To: "Webaim" < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
> Sent: Tuesday, May 27, 2003 9:53 AM
> Subject: priority ratings
> Hello list,
> This is my first post here, so please excuse me if this has been
> covered
> in the past - I checked the archives, but couldn't quite find what I
> was
> looking for...
> I am currently designing three new sites, with the goal of 'AAA' for
> all
> of them. Browsing around the web checking out the 'accessibility'
> topic,
> I have found many sites that are 'AA' and not 'AAA'. I am curious as to
> why they don't move forward to 'AAA'... I wonder if this is a some sort
> of humility 'towards' the triple a status? Am I being a bit na