This document provides an introductory guide to the Evaluation and Report Language (EARL) 1.0, and shall be used as an accompanying document to the normative document Evaluation and Report Language (EARL) 1.0 Schema. The Evaluation and Report Language is a framework targeted to express test results. Although the term test can be taken in its widest acception, EARL is targeted to report and exchange results of tests of Web applications and resources. EARL intends to provide a vendor neutral and platform independent format. [Editor's note: synchronize with EARL 1.0 Schema.]
This section describes the status of this document at the time of its publication. Other documents may supersede this document. A list of current W3C publications and the latest revision of this technical report can be found in the W3C technical reports index at http://www.w3.org/TR/.
[Editor's note: describe intent of this working draft and propose feedback questions. Synchronize with EARL 1.0 Schema.]
This is a W3C Working Draft of the Evaluation and Report Language (EARL) 1.0 Guide. This document will be published and maintained as a W3C Recommendation after review and refinement. Publication as a Working Draft does not imply endorsement by the W3C Membership. This is a draft document and may be updated, replaced or obsoleted by other documents at any time. It is inappropriate to cite this document as other than work in progress.
This document was produced under the 5 February 2004 W3C Patent Policy. The Working Group maintains a public list of patent disclosures relevant to this document; that page also includes instructions for disclosing a patent. An individual who has actual knowledge of a patent which the individual believes contains Essential Claim(s) with respect to this specification should disclose the information in accordance with section 6 of the W3C Patent Policy.
This document has been produced as part of the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI). The goals of the Evaluation and Repair Tools Working Group (ERT WG) are discussed in the Working Group charter. The ERT WG is part of the WAI Technical Activity.
This document provides an introductory guide to the Evaluation and Report Language (EARL) 1.0, and shall be used as an accompanying document to the normative document Evaluation and Report Language (EARL) 1.0 Schema.
[Editor's note: ...]
The objectives of this document are:
Although this document does not assume any previous knowledge of EARL, the following knowledge is assumed:
The Evaluation and Report Language (EARL) is a framework targeted to express and compare test results. EARL builds on top of the Resource Description Framework [RDF], which is the basis for the Semantic Web. It is not the object of this document to introduce the reader to the intricacies of RDF, and some basic knowledge must be assumed as a pre-requisite (see, e.g., [RDF-PRIMER] for more information). As any RDF vocabulary, EARL is not more than a collection of statements about resources, each with a subject, a predicate (or a verb) and an object. These statements can be serialized in many ways (RDF/XML or Notation 3, N3). A typical EARL report could contain the following statements (oversimplifying the notation and not including namespaces):
<#someone> <#checks> <#resource> . <#resource> <#fails> <#test> .
From these simple two statements, it can be inferred already the main components of an EARL Report:
This structure shows the universal applicability of EARL and its ability to refer to any type of test: bug reports, software unit tests, test suite evaluations, conformance claims or even tests outside the world of software and the World Wide Web (although for such cases, there might be too open issues for its full aplicability). It must be stressed again the semantic nature of EARL: its purpose is to facilitate the extraction and comparison of test results by humans and especially by tools (the semantic Web paradigm); it is not simply an storage of information, for which some other XML application might be more suitable.
Summarising, the objectives of EARL are to:
It is also remarkable that the extensibility of RDF (or EARL) allows to tool vendors or developers the addition of new functionalities to the vocabulary, without losing any of the aforementioned characteristics, as other testers might ignore those extensions that they do not understand when processing third party results.
The applicability of EARL to different scenarios can be seen in the following use cases:
[Editor's note: Maybe add some more exotic scenario outside the Web and software development.]
EARL is flexible enough to respond to the needs of a variety of audiences involved in a testing or quality assurance process. Typical profiles are:
A generic testing process has several steps. Typically, a test process consists of the following phases (see Figure 1):
EARL is targeted to the phase #4, and supports the rest of the following ones, by providing the necessary information for the semantic interpretation of the test results.
[Editor's note: Add figure.]
EARL is not an standalone technology, and builds on top of many existing vocabularies that cover some of its needs for metadata definition. This approach avoids the re-creation of applications already established and tested like the Dublin Core elements. The referenced specifications are:
[Editor's note: ...]
[Editor's note: RDF/XML serialization.]
Table 1 [XXX define anchor XXX] presents the core namespaces used by EARL. The prefix refers to the convention used in this document to denote a given namespace, and can be freely modified.
|Namespace prefix||Namespace URI||Comment|
||The default EARL namespace. Where RDF terms are used in their abbreviated form (e.g. Assertion or foaf:Person), if no namespace is provided the term is in the EARL namespace.|
[Editor's note: Versioning terms during the process of developing the vocabulary is an issue the group is working on. It is possible that a new namespace will be used for a final version of the vocabulary.]
[Editor's note: Short introduction on the RDF/XML serialization.]
[Editor's note: This section will contain a first quick and dirty report on, e.g., a W3C Validator report.]
[Editor's note: Introduction to all EARL Classes and their properties.]
[Editor's note: An aggregation example. E.g., validation and accessibility report.]
[Editor's note: How to extend EARL in a hypothetical scenario.]
[Editor's note: Self-explanatory.]
[Editor's note: To be determined.]