asWedit Conformance to ATAG

This document was written using asWedit - kind of checking as I go. It is a test of asWedit 4.01 for linux using RedHat 6.0 linux with Gnome against the last call draft of the Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 Working Draft dated 3 September 1999. This test was done by Charles McCathieNevile on 21 September 1999. It is provided as a sample of a conformance test, but because I did not develop the software there are areas where I was uncertain of the extent it met the checkpoints.

This is a rough draft, and should not be referenced except as work in progress

Guideline 1. Support accessible authoring practices

1.1 Ensure Author can implement accessible Authoring practices
As a source editor, this is easy.
1.2 produce content that conforms to WCAG
The content produced is valid, but the rest is left up to the author
1.3 Ensure templates conform to WCAG
Haven't checked. Hang on. No templates supplied (at least in free version)
1.4 Preserve accessiblity content during transformation etc.
Doesn't remove things unseen. Haven't done any transformations yet. Transforming an ACRONYM to an ABBR kept the title.

Guideline 2 Generate Standard Markup

2.1 Use applicable W3C recommendations
This editor validates to HTML 4.0 transitional, or frameset DTDs
2.2 Ensure Markup conforms to published specification
Does so out of the box. It is possible to change the Doctype, but I haven't tried that yet
2.3 Use a language that enables accessibility
HTML 4.0 (the whole lot, as far as I can tell (as claimed).

3. Ensure no accessibiltiy info is missing

3.1 Prompt for alternative info
Requires alt, and also asks for longdesc, but doesn't always ask I don't think
3.2 Do not insert auto alt text
Doesn't do this ever I don't think
3.3 Provide pre-written alt for packaged clip-art
None is provided
3.4 Provide mechanism for alternative objects
Doesn't do this

Provide checking for accessibility

4.1 Check for accessibility problems
Only checks for validity
4.2 Assit authors in correcting
It's a source editor. It provides context sensitive help (element by element)
4.3 Allow the author to override removal of unrecognised markup
It does this, element by element (it is laso possible to define new elements in a document
4.4 Provde the author with a summary of accessiiblity status
Doesn't do this
4.5 Allow the author to transform presentation markup or misused markup
Allows transformation of elements to other elements. I'm not sure how complex this can be yet.

5. Integrate accessibility

5.1 Make generation of accessible content natural
Does this - most of the work is left to the author in any case, but accessiiblity is done as standard
5.2 Ensure highest-priority accessible practices are most available
Yep. (there are not many layers of availability...)

6. promote accessibility in help and documentation

6.1 Integrate accessible authoring into help
Does this
6.2 explain accessible authoring practices
More or less - it explains authoring HTML 4.0 and includes accessiblity requirements (not to WCAG I don't think, but to the level documented in HTML 4.0 spec
6.3 Ensure documentation examples show how to produce accessible content
Does this with a couple of odd exceptions (some of the IMG examples used to demonstrate MAP, don't have their own alt, for example)
6.4 Emphasize the benefit of universal design
Does this

7. Make the tool accessible

7.1 Use aplicable conventions
Seems to do this (I would have to be the author to test completely). Uses Motif toolkit, allows system-based configurability (and explains how it is done), provides complete keyboard control (rare in Unix systems). I have no idea what it does in terms of APIs
7.2 Allow the author to change the editing view
Since it is a text editor the editing view is set using system properties to whatever the author wants. (although I don't know if the mechanism allows for distinction other than colour for the different elements). The user selects any preview tool they want.
7.3 Render an accessible equivalnet of each property
All available through standard text interface, or through mouse interface
7.4 Allow the author to edit all properties
Does this
7.5 Ensure editing view allows navigation via structure
Can move up and down container element tree, or to either end of slected node.
7.6 allow editing of structure
Cut copy paste of selected node, transformations of elements
7.7 allow searching within editing view
Yes. (Only view provided, gives a full search capability

I did this in about 2 hours from download to writing the test using asWedit (which explains why I haven't got a complete knowledge of it yet). As a rough conclusion this tool is close to double-A conformance in most areas. However for a couple of reasons noted above it does not conform to the current draft.