Bluefish 0.6 HTML Editor evaluation


This report evaluates Bluefish 0.6 HTML Editor according to Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines 1.0. It reproduces our findings in regard to the degree of support of ATAG 1.0 checkpoints. The lattest version is 0.7, although it has not been evaluated.

Bluefish is not a WYSIWYG tool, but a HTML Editor. It is a very popular tool in the Linux Operative System and it is based in the GTK libraries. The tool makes use of gettext for its localization features. It is sponsored by Open Office (The Netherlands).

Priority 1 checkpoints

Checkpoints Conformance
Checkpoint 1.1
Ensure that the author can produce accessible content in the markup language(s) supported by the tool. [Priority 1] (Techniques for 1.1)
Checkpoint 1.2
Ensure that the tool preserves all accessibility information during authoring, transformations, and conversions. [Priority 1] (Techniques for 1.2)
Checkpoint 2.2
Ensure that the tool automatically generates valid markup. [Priority 1] (Techniques for 2.2)
Checkpoint 3.4
Do not automatically generate equivalent alternatives. Do not reuse previously authored alternatives without author confirmation, except when the function is known with certainty. [Priority 1] (Techniques for 3.4)
Checkpoint 6.1
Document all features that promote the production of accessible content. [Priority 1] (Techniques for 6.1)
Checkpoint 7.2
Allow the author to change the presentation within editing views without affecting the document markup. [Priority 1] (Techniques for 7.2)
Checkpoint 7.3
Allow the author to edit all properties of each element and object in an accessible fashion. [Priority 1] (Techniques for 7.3)
Checkpoint 7.4
Ensure that the editing view allows navigation via the structure of the document in an accessible fashion. [Priority 1] (Techniques for 7.4)

Relative Priority checkpoints

Note: These should be assessed by reference to the checkpoints of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines [WCAG10], and may be met at three different levels.

Checkpoints Conformance
Checkpoint 1.3
Ensure that when the tool automatically generates markup it conforms to the W3C's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 [WCAG10]. [Relative Priority] (Techniques for 1.3)
Checkpoint 1.4
Ensure that templates provided by the tool conform to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 [WCAG10]. [Relative Priority] (Techniques for 1.4)
Checkpoint 3.1
Prompt the author to provide equivalent alternative information (e.g., captions, auditory descriptions, and collated text transcripts for video). [Relative Priority] (Techniques for 3.1)
Checkpoint 3.2
Help the author create structured content and separate information from its presentation. [Relative Priority] (Techniques for 3.2)
Checkpoint 3.3
Ensure that prepackaged content conforms to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 [WCAG10]. [Relative Priority] (Techniques for 3.3)
Checkpoint 4.1
Check for and inform the author of accessibility problems. [Relative Priority] (Techniques for 4.1)
Checkpoint 4.2
Assist authors in correcting accessibility problems. [Relative Priority] (Techniques for 4.2)
Checkpoint 7.1
Use all applicable operating system and accessibility standards and conventions (Priority 1 for standards and conventions that are essential to accessibility; Priority 2 for those that are important to accessibility; Priority 3 for those that are beneficial to accessibility). (Techniques for 7.1)

Priority 2 checkpoints

Checkpoints Conformance
Checkpoint 2.1
Use the latest versions of W3C Recommendations when they are available and appropriate for a task. [Priority 2] (Techniques for 2.1)
Checkpoint 4.3
Allow the author to preserve markup not recognized by the tool. [Priority 2] (Techniques for 4.3)
Checkpoint 5.1
Ensure that functionality related to accessible authoring practices is naturally integrated into the overall look and feel of the tool. [Priority 2] (Techniques for 5.1)
Checkpoint 5.2
Ensure that accessible authoring practices supporting Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 [WCAG10] Priority 1 checkpoints are among the most obvious and easily initiated by the author. [Priority 2] (Techniques for 5.2)
Checkpoint 6.2
Ensure that creating accessible content is a naturally integrated part of the documentation, including examples. [Priority 2] (Techniques for 6.2)
Checkpoint 7.5
Enable editing of the structure of the document in an accessible fashion. [Priority 2] (Techniques for 7.5)
Checkpoint 7.6
Allow the author to search within editing views. [Priority 2] (Techniques for 7.6)

Priority 3 checkpoints

Checkpoints Conformance
Checkpoint 2.3
If markup produced by the tool does not conform to W3C specifications, inform the author. [Priority 3] (Techniques for 2.3)
Checkpoint 3.5
Provide functionality for managing, editing, and reusing alternative equivalents for multimedia objects. [Priority 3] (Techniques for 3.5)
Checkpoint 4.4
Provide the author with a summary of the document's accessibility status. [Priority 3] (Techniques for 4.4)
Checkpoint 4.5
Allow the author to transform presentation markup that is misused to convey structure into structural markup, and to transform presentation markup used for style into style sheets. [Priority 3] (Techniques for 4.5)
Checkpoint 6.3
In a dedicated section, document all features of the tool that promote the production of accessible content. [Priority 3] (Techniques for 6.3)


  1.   Being a normal editor, there is a complete freedom to introduce HTML code. It is possible to validate throughout external plug-ins.
  2.   When writing this report, there are not import/export wizards to check.
  3.   The wizards checked, despite the tool is still in its alpha state, offer access to all the atributes that will allow the creation of accessible content. When an attribute is not yet included in the wizard, there exist the possibility to add it. However, there is not a strict match between specified DOCTYPE and options available.
  4.   The tool does not add automatic ALT tags. There is not a reusable content management tool.
  5.   The manual and the tool help are under development.
  6.   Editing and dialogs follow the conventions of the GNOME desktop, although the accessibility features for this desktop are under heavy development by the GNOME foundation.
  7.   The Project Manager allows to incorporate external templates defined by the author. However, there are no prepackaged materials.
  8.   Although the latest recommendations are included, not all the tags and attributes are included. Also there is no information on the deprecated tags and attributes.
  9.   Although it is possible to use external tools (e.g. tidy) for validation.

Technical Remarks

Test performed in a SuSE 7.1 Linux distribution (kernel 2.4.2-4) running GNOME 1.4 and Bluefish 0.6.