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Web accessibility from a software engineering perspective: how RIAs and the mobile web changed accessibility testing.

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Invited speech:
Dr. Carlos Velasco, Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology (FIT)

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  • 1. Web Accessibility from a software engineering perspective: how RIAs and the Mobile Web changed accessibility testing Dr. Carlos A. Velasco Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology FIT Web Compliance Center – http://imergo.com/ 1st International AEGIS Conference 7-8 October 2010, Sevilla 20101007_AEGIS_Sevilla
  • 2. About Fraunhofer FIT — Fraunhofer Society — Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology FIT  Web Compliance Center  Research Area “Life Science Informatics”
  • 3. Work areas — Web Compliance Engineering — Consultancy & training:  SOA/ECMS – Systems' industry/public sector implementation — Interdisciplinary team:  Quality Assurance  UIs (accessibility, usability;  Computer science biofeedback and therapeutical  Pedagogics intervention systems) — Standards bodies (W3C)  Linguistics — Development &  Engineering commercialization of software
  • 4. Software/Web engineering — Software engineering: «… is a profession dedicated to designing, implementing, and modifying software so that it is of higher quality, more affordable, maintainable, and faster to build.» (Wikipedia) — Web Engineering «The application of systematic, disciplined and quantifiable approaches to the cost-effective development and evolution of high-quality solutions in the World Wide Web.»
  • 5. What is the Web? «Web Science, the science of decentralised information systems.» (A Framework for Web Science, Tim Berners-Lee et al.)
  • 6. Web pre-, prehistory: WorldWideWeb Browser
  • 7. Web prehistory: Mosaic Web browser
  • 8. Web of the «End of the Century»
  • 9. Web 2.0
  • 10. What is Web Accessibility? «Web accessibility means that people with disabilities can use the Web.» (W3C/WAI)
  • 11. Components of the Web
  • 12. Components of the Web 2.0 2W
  • 13. Compliance: what to test?
  • 14. Web Compliance in general SEC 17a-4 (USA) Canadian Basel II Electronic Capital Electronic Ledger Storage Law Evidence Act Accord (Japan) HIPAA (USA) 11MEDIS-DC (Japan) ISO 18501/18509 AIPA (Italy) FDA 21 CRF GDPdU & GoBS Part 11 (Germany) NF Z 42-013 (France) Sarbanes-Oxley Act (USA) Public Financial Records Services Office (UK) Authority (UK) BSI PD0008 (UK)
  • 15. Accessibility compliance
  • 16. Device compliance and ... MobileOK SEO Corporate Identity
  • 17. Testing Web 1.0 — Static pages  Only form interaction — Limited layout possibilities — Limited CSS implementation — Poor JS support in AT: JS was «evil» — UAs swallowed anything  Web = poorest & more successful software product of the history — Poorly defined criteria («until UAs ...») — Poor object models implementation
  • 18. … and the RIAs arrived — Technology Penetration Report (Security Space, 2009-09-01, 1,485,767 web sites)  Technology Sites Percentage  JavaScript 955,494 64.31%  Frames 150,439 10.13%  StyleSheets 942,486 63.43%  Java 8,609 0.58%  Iframes 227,627 15.32%  GIF Images 918,961 61.85%  JPG Images 847,491 57.04%  PNG Images 293,430 19.75%  Flash/Shock. 183,363 12.34%
  • 19. RIA Characteristics — Ubiquitous clients: desktop, mobile, … — Self-adapted across different platforms — Function in low bandwidth connections — Restore processing power to the client — Deliver engaging UIs: interactivity — Utilize seamlessly audio, video, images and text — Support the mobile workflow — Asynchronous content retrieval — Access multiple middle tier services and backend data stores: Web Services — Integrate with legacy applications and systems — Allow for the incremental addition of new functions
  • 20. The problem with HTML interfaces ... — Accessibility relies on abstracting semantics from both content and presentational information  Semantic cues from HTML are unreliable (tag elements names) — HTML allows content to be repurposed for:  presentational formatting (e.g., tables instead style sheets)  dynamic custom components (e.g., combined with script and CSS) — HTML lacks the ability to attach meaningful metadata about document structure — HTML elements commonly used for repurposing produce custom components not keyboard accessible
  • 21. Testing Web 2.0
  • 22. ARIA: filling the gaps — Separation of content and presentation — States and Property attributes  Full keyboard focus  Mapping to accessibility APIS (passive monitoring of the application by AT) — Role attribute  Machine-readable information about purpose of an element — Role document landmark values — Taxonomy of ARIA role values (Semantic Web)
  • 23. The contract model: accessibility APIs
  • 24. Challenges for a compliance tool — Direct interaction with the server vs. accessing OS accessibility APIs — Emulation of user behaviour  Collect document landmarks (role taxonomy, derived from abstract roles):  Widget Roles  Document Structure Roles  Landmark Roles  Monitor WAI-ARIA states and properties (modifiable via JS events):  Managed (user-agent controlled)  Unmanaged (author controlled)  Focus management
  • 25. Roles' summary
  • 26. Type of tests — Automatic — Expert — Users (See UWEM)
  • 27. Testing workflow
  • 28. Authoring Tool integration
  • 29. Conclusions — Traditional testing approaches are no longer valid — Semantic Web technologies are needed:  Definition and customisation of rules and rulesets (tests and test suites)  Expression of results (EARL) — Experts need to be incorporated into the workflow  «Expert Viewer» approach — Web apps to be accessed via rendering engine or OS Accessibility API
  • 30. Q&A