SimpleCrawler for your everyday web crawling needs

Over at the standards-schmandards blog I often test websites to gather statistics on specific HTML use, accessibility and other things. Each time I have written a web crawler to collect the data. In Python and Ruby this is a simple task but last time it was like a déjà vu and I decided to create a Ruby library that I could use in the future. SimpleCrawler is a Ruby gem that covers basic web crawling needs....

August 27, 2007 · Peter Krantz

MySpace Layouts and Markup Quality

I have received an increasing number of advertising inquiries from MySpace layout sites. Apparently the term “MySpace layouts” is a very popular search term these days. Looking at the default MySpace layouts one can unserstand why. I am confident that they didn’t hire a designer to create the default MySpace look and feel. Looking at the MySpace HTML, they certainly didn’t hire a GUI developer. The markup looks like it was ripped from a teenage fan site from the early nineties:...

August 16, 2007 · Peter Krantz

New release of the Ruby Accessibility Analysis Kit and online interface

The current version has some minor bug fixes that will speed up testing. The online test interface has been updated to support direct input of markup. This is for those of you unable to install Raakt locally. This means that there is no reason to skip basic accessibility testing of whatever you are developing! To find out more on how you can integrate Raakt in your testing framework check out the Raakt wiki which now has a lot more information....

April 1, 2007 · Peter Krantz

A new version of the Ruby Accessibility Analysis Kit

This is to announce that RAAKT (The Ruby Accessibility Analysis Kit) has been updated. This release includes more accessibility tests and an initial mapping of tests to the Unified Web Evaluation Methodology (UWEM). Also, thanks to Derek Perrault RAAKT now uses Hpricot to parse the HTML document. This solves the problem where the previous parser (RubyfulSoup) declared a class “Tag” that was likely to clash with your local classes in Rails....

March 3, 2007 · Peter Krantz

Why Accessibility in Rails is a Non-issue

Maybe a better title for this post would be “Why Accessibility in Rails is Currently a Non-issue”. Last night was the core team panel discussion at RailsConf and there was a question about what the core team was doing to increase accessibility in Rails. Someone in the core team answered rather vaguely (or maybe I misunderstood the answer) how they had used Rails in a project that required high accessibility. My view is that for the Rails framework accessibility is currently a non-issue....

September 15, 2006 · Peter Krantz

Speaking at RailsConf Europe

I received an interesting email from the organizers of the european Rails conference yesterday. My talk proposal “Building Accessible Web Sites on Rails” was accepted and I will be giving a talk with the following description: As an agile Rails developer you are expected to know a bit of everything in the MVC paradigm. The V (View) is typically considered the least attractive area as it is “only HTML” and is best taken care of “by someone else”....

August 1, 2006 · Peter Krantz

Testing Google's Accessible Search with the Ruby Accessibility Analysis Kit

Recently Google Labs released Google Accessible Search - Accessible Web Search for the Visually Challenged. Running the search page ( through RAAKT (using the online version) yields three errors and the search result page is using tables for layout. Maybe I am missing something here, but how hard can it be for Google to make sure their search page is using best practices and avoid basic accessibility pitfalls?

July 21, 2006 · Peter Krantz

Automated accessibility tests in Ruby on Rails

A couple of days ago I released RAAKT - The Ruby Accessibility Analysis Kit gem (I know, it really needs a better name). RAAKT is a gem that can be used independently of Rails and my plan was to make a Rails plugin that would add a custom assert method that did the check. It turns out that it only takes five lines of code so there is no need for a plugin....

July 14, 2006 · Peter Krantz

Porting the Python Accessibility Analysis Kit to Ruby

At RailsConf in Chicago I realized that it would be a good idea to port PAAKT to Ruby and make sure it can be used for automatic accessibility tests in the Rails testing framework. Work has begun and I hope to release it at the end of this summer if all goes well. The project is registered at Rubyforge. Now, all I need is a good name. Maybe RAAKT? Suggestions are welcome....

June 29, 2006 · Peter Krantz

PAAKT: The Python Accessibility Analysis Kit version 0.51

PAAKT is a Pyhon module with which you can analyze accessibility in web pages. This release is to enable testing of real web pages (instead of the fake ones in the unit tests). For details see the PAAKT project page.

April 2, 2006 · Peter Krantz