EARL in Xforms

Status of this document | How to use these forms | Developer information | Resources | Acknowledgements

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Status of this Document

This page attempts to track some work on Xform tools for working with the evaluation reporting language EARL, developed by the Evaluation and Repair Tools group of W3C. This is work in progress, funded by the SWAD-Europe project.

The forms and documents listed below are available for use or modification according to the terms of the W3C copyright / license (a BSD-style open source license).

Please send any comments, questions, requests for enhancement or code for improvements to the WAI Evaluation and Repair Tools Group (WAI-ER) mailing list, and note they will appear in the public archive.

This docment is maintained by Charles McCathieNevile, and was last updated on $Date: 2004/04/05 02:48:58 $

How to use these forms

I can't make these work in Xsmiles 0.82 on MacOS X. The program itself doesn't work right so I can't see the error. I am still working under xsmiles 0.8. Other testing would be more than welcome.

This work produces documents in the new Xforms format from W3C. In order to use these tools you will need an Xforms capable browser, or to install a plugin. This work has been tested with X-smiles 0.8, but you might like to look at the list of Xforms implementations and select one for yourself.

Instructions are given below for various specific versions following these instructions which are generally applicable.

The forms are easiest to be locally (until the work on updating the annotea storage is incorporated). Download the package, and open the form you want (typically earlform.xml) in your Xform browser.

The form asks for identifying information, because EARL requires some identification of who made a particular assessment. You need to provide information that is unique, since it is meant to be used for comparing results between different evaluators. However there is no obligation to use your real name or any personally identifying information.

Similarly, you need to provide a date. The form should automatically offer the date/time that you open the form. If your assessment was done at some other time, please edit this field, but you need to use the same format as used. The formula is year-month-dayThours:minutes:seconds±HH:MM where HH:MM is the difference from GMT.

What follows are the checkpoints being tested - there is a title, a selection menu for the result of your test, and a space for comments.

Specific version instructions

This form includes buttons to hide or show groups of checkpoints accordin to their priority. Please note that this is a testing version, and under Xsmiles it is running slowly - please allow time for the buttons to work.

Developer information

To Do, unanswered questions, ...

(Contributions welcome ;-)

Allow for using different schemata
Can I include a model which works on the page it is in, to modify the other model's instance src and submission?
Make nicer style sheets!
Add help information for each testcase
Link the schema generator and the base form to each other better
Recommendation namespace
The current version uses a namespace from a draft version of Xforms. Make sure that the namespaces correspond to the Xforms and XML Events recommendations


The forms (and documents) listed below are available for use or modification according to the terms of the W3C copyright / license (a BSD-style open source license). Please send any comments, questions, requests for enhancement or code for improvements to the WAI Evaluation and Repair Tools Group (WAI-ER) mailing list. Note they will appear in the public archive.

The following files form part of the earlform package.

This is the basic xform, which provides an interface for a WCAG 1 assessment.

Status: working - last changed 2004-02-13. Fixed a bug in the EARL generated.

Versión Castellano disponible - 2003-02-13
This version allows the user to dynamically select checkpoints to be reported - e.g. by priority.

Status: working. Cleaned up, fixed bug in generated EARL - last changed 2003-02-13.

This is a work in progress, to allow the results to be posted to the earl.w3.org server run by W3C as a testbed.

Status: working?. I don't have a sufficently well implemented test platform, but the process seems to go correctly across the wire - last changed 2003-08-24

Dev notes: try incorporating a user/password in the URI to test this.
A work in progress. This is to allow users to choose where the results are generated.

Status: working. needs a seperate step. - last changed 2003-08-04

Dev notes: If I took the multilingual base, I could use this to collect initial information and to generate the right language version of the result form by selecting labels etc. for the right language (or suppressing them for the wrong ones...)
A work in progress. This is to allow users to create a new test scheme.

Status: working, being tweaked. ... - last changed 2003-08-10

Data files

An output file. At the moment earlform.xml produces its output to this file - for example when run locally. (It will also try to save it to this file when run from the web, if the user has appropriate write permission).

Status: working - This file just holds the results of the last process to use it.

A base file for an evaluation against the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 (WCAG1). This includes all checkpoints (using a reference to the checkpoint as an identifier), and includes a dublin core title (taken from the specification), and the WCAG1 priority of the checkpoint.

Status: working fixed validity of EARL - last changed 2003-02-13

A base file (instance, in xforms parlance) for makeEarlBase. It contains a single dummy checkpoint, but is "anatomically correct" as a test schema.

Status: working - last changed 2003-08-08

A very rough style for all this.

Status: working. very ugly - last changed 2003-07-02


EARL 1.0 draft specification
The EARL specification outlines an RDF vocabulary for recording the results of evaluations. It is currently a W3C working draft.
EARL by example
An introduction to EARL, for people who can copy code examples but might not know EARL nor RDF.
Xforms 1.0
Xforms 1.0 is a language for creating interactions with users, allowing them to modify an XML document through an interface provided by their browser. It began as a replacement for forms in HTML, to improve the accessibility and device independence of form-based interaction on the Web. It is a W3C Recommendation.
WCAG 1.0
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 outline requirements to ensure that web pages do not prevent people with disabilities from using them. It is a W3C Recommendation published in 1999.
RDF (the Resource Description Framework) is a family of specifications from W3C, which underpin the "semantic web" - ensuring that as far as possible information on the Web can be processed by machines. It is used in situations like EARL because it allows for easy merging of apparently different data.


This work could not have been done without invaluable help from many people.

Particular thanks to the following

It was funded by the European Commission under the IST 5th Framework.