Validation of the CEOHP website

Making a website usable involves more than the content, more than the layout. Usability will be enhanced if a site owner ensures that each component webpage conforms to appropriate standards. This in turn provides visitors with a more consistent experience that is not browser dependent.

Because compliance with standards is a process, rather than a static goal that is reached once and for all, validation remains an on-going effort. Compliance results will be affected by changes to the website as well as by future updates to the standards and to the browsers used to view the site. We will use this page to track our progress as we make further improvements and address compliance issues.

We welcome advice and questions about the validation processes we are using! Please see the CEOHP contact page for information on how to reach the project leaders.

Validation tools used on the CEOHP site

We are currently using the following tools to check the validity of the pages of CEOHP.

  • The W3C suite of Quality Assurance Tools
    • Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional W3C Markup Validation Service, which we have used to check each page for compliance with the XHTML 1.0 Transitional standards.
    • Valid CSS! W3C CSS validator, which validates CSS stylesheets and documents using CSS stylesheets.
    The W3C QA Suite includes additional tools that can help improve the quality of websites. We plan to continue improving the CEOHP website to provide the best possible experience for all users.
  • Valid XHTML 1.0 and WCAG v2 AA! Total Validator, available in both a basic (no-cost) version and a professional version. This tool can check single pages or trees of pages. It considers compliance with HTML or XHTML standards, accessibility based on WCAG and Section 508 standards, spelling, and links.

Discussion of CEOHP site compliance and issues

Checking compliance is an on-going effort. On January 1, 2012, the CEOHP site was 100% compliant. The most recent check of the CEOHP site has been August 8-9, 2016, but has only covered the TotalValidator aspects. The remaining checks will be conducted during the next update (addition of new interviews), anticipated to take place during September 2016.

In this most recent check, TotalValidator indicates several errors and warnings, several of which have to do with web addresses. Each of these problems has been check thoroughly and will be resolved as quickly as possible.

  • On the Supporter Description page and the Reference List page, the URL https://women.acm.org/ is flagged with the error message "W304 Problem with link: Not Modified — Check your web server logs to determine the cause". The link works as expected when entered as a web address.
  • On the Overview page for Fran Allen's interview, the URL https://anitaborg.org/profiles/abie-award-winners/frances-allen/ is flagged with the error message "E500 Problem with link: Internal Server Error — This appears when a link to a document caused part of the remote server to fail (e.g. a CGI program) or encounter a configuration error." The link works as expected when entered as a web address.
  • On the Overview page for Susan Gerhart's interview and the brief bio for the same interview, the URL https://www.utoronto.ca is flagged with the error message "P041 Connection failure: Received fatal alert: handshake_failure — The link could not be tested due to a connection failure. You should test this link manually." The link works as expected when entered as a web address.
  • On the Literature page the URL https://www.ibdb.com/broadway-show/galileo-3759 is flagged with the error message "P041 Connection failure: Received fatal alert: handshake_failure — The link could not be tested due to a connection failure. You should test this link manually." The link works as expected when entered as a web address.

Spelling issues on the CEOHP site

For spelling issues, we have created our own dictionary of CEOHP-specific terms and names. Below we discuss some of the small issues we have encountered thus far.

  • The Total Validator tool cannot process phrases (that is, sequences of words), so terms such as "et al", "ad hoc", and "et cetera" are not treated as a unit. As a result, the individual parts must be added as separate words, which has the unsatisfying side-effect of allowing some common misspellings (such as "ad" rather than "and") to creep through.
  • Abbreviated terms that include a period, such as "vs.", "Ms.", or "Mdm.", are reported as incorrectly spelled even when the period is present. It is ironic that Total Validator suggests the correct version (e.g. "vs." after highlighting the "vs" as the erroneous text and ignoring the period in the error report).
  • Some habits of speech and utterances are common enough to be included in the dictionary. We have chosen to include "ooh" and "ahh", but have not included "sirree" (uttered in the phrase "No sirree" by one interviewee).
  • The tool ignores abbreviations in all caps, so at this point it is possible that we have not caught all problems with terms in all upper case.