Evaluation and Report Language (EARL) Overview

The Evaluation and Report Language (EARL) is a machine-readable format for expressing test results. The primary motivation for developing EARL is to facilitate the processing of test results, such as those generated by web accessibility evaluation tools, using a vendor-neutral and platform-independent format.

Web authoring tools and quality assurance software can use EARL to aggregate test results obtained from different testing tools including web accessibitity evaluation tools, validators, and other types of content checkers. EARL uses the Resource Description Framework (RDF) to define the terms for expressing test results.

Who EARL is for

EARL is primarily intended for developers of:

What is in EARL

EARL is an RDF vocabulary, the terms of which are defined by the following specifications:

EARL 1.0 reuses other RDF terms such as those provided by the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) and the Friend Of A Friend (FOAF) project. EARL terms can also be reused for other purposes, such as for content description and content labeling.

What is the status of EARL

EARL specifications are published as non-normative W3C Working Group Notes.

Technical document format

The EARL documents follow the W3C format for technical specifications, which includes several sections at the beginning: links to different versions, editors, copyright, abstract, and status with the link to errata and the email address for comments. Most WAI specifications have a link at the top to the Table of Contents.

Who develops EARL

EARL documents were developed by the Evaluation and Repair Tools Working Group (ERT WG), which was part of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) until 2014.

Some of the terms defined by EARL are being used by the Accessibility Conformance Testing (ACT) Rules Format 1.0 currently being developed by the ACT Task Force. See ACT Overview for more information.

Opportunities for contributing to EARL and other WAI work are introduced in Participating in WAI.

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