Benchmarking Tools and Methods for the Web

In 2007 the BenToWeb project, whose coordinator WebCC had been, was completed successfully. BenToWeb supported the European public and private sector in implementing the recommendations of the eEurope 2005 Action Plan. A major contribution were methodologies and software that satisfy selected accessibility recommendations of the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which were not analyzed by existing tools so far due to their inherent complexity.

Besides the complexity of the research objectives, coordinating with the actors involved, especially several WAI Working Groups, was a major challenge. To facilitate coordination, different forms of collaboration were established, from direct participation in the Working Groups, including editorial tasks for key documents, to ad-hoc Task Forces with strong support from the project.

The main outcomes of the BenToWeb project are:

  • A set of test suites for WCAG 2.0 Web conformance testing.  The latest test suite is being successively adopted by W3C with the review by the Test Samples Development Task Force. These test suites provide a reliable benchmarking environment for evaluation and repair tools that could be used in public procurement policies.
  • A set of tools related to the test environment, like the Test Case Description Language (TCDL). BenToWeb submitted an adapted version to W3C.
  • A set of advanced drafts of the Evaluation and Repair Language, together with a set of associated tools.
  • A set of advanced modules that permit the automatic verification of complex accessibility requirements like language simplicity, color contrast and consistency of navigation elements. The modules have undergone thorough user testing. Some of them will be commercialized in the upcoming version of imergo.
  • A complete testing framework for development, verification and analysis of test cases, including large-scale validation by users.
  • The Unified Web Evaluation Methodology (UWEM), a complete methodology for testing websites for WCAG 1.0 conformance. By supporting the activities of the Web Accessibility Benchmarking Cluster (WAB) this methodology was developed.