Discussions about Software at UMCP

August 16, 2004

Cyntrica Eaton and Atif Memon, Improving Browsing Environment Accessibility Evaluations for Websites

The reliability and overall quality of web pages is significantly influenced by the browser, browser version, and operating system that comprise the browsing environment. We have developed a tool that will assess the reliability and, ultimately, the accessibility of web-bound content based on analysis of the HTML tags that are used to structure web pages and the subsequent support for each in various browsing environments. Recognizing that the strength of this particular approach to reliability assessment is heavily reliant upon the completeness and accuracy of tag support knowledge, we have also designed a learning mechanism that will acquire and update knowledge of incompliant, or unsupported, tags through direct observation of the HTML source code incorporated in pages that render and perform properly in given browsing environments and those that do not. Our contribution is expected to empower web developers with an active awareness of fault-prone browsing environments and, subsequently, a means of avoiding the issues associated with unwittingly releasing web pages into the field that restrict a subset of the web population from full access and interactivity. In this talk, I will provide insight into the need for this tool, an overview of the system we have designed, and a brief look at tool evaluation.

Web Accessibility