This is the first in a series of articles where we look at how government organisations use the W3C recommendations. Using the mass validation tool from a previous article, Validating an entire site, we have a look at our first contestant: USA. The result: only 13 of 546 government web sites tested use valid HTML.
How the test was carried out
In a previous article I wrote about how you can script a local installtaion of the W3C validator tool using Python. I have since modified the validator to do more checks apart from making sure the HTML is valid. Links to US government web sites were obtained from FirstGov.gov: the U.S. Government’s Official Web Portal. Only the first page of the web site was checked. The test was carried out on September 25.
Please note that usage of the W3C recommendations is only an indication of accessibility. A site that does not validate may still be more accessible than one that does. I have not tested every site manually and you may find that some of the valid ones have a valid splash page but fail miserably for the rest of the site. If you find errors, please post them below and I will update the table.
The validation result is presented in a table here. Out of 546 tested web sites only 13 (2.4%) were using valid HTML. No web site used Dublin Core for meta data and the majority of the web sites are using tables for layout. The 13 web sites that did use the W3C recommendations are:
- Bureau of the Public Debt
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- U.S. Commission of Fine Arts
- Commodity Futures Trading Commission Homepage
- United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
- Federal Emergency Management Agency
- Federated States of Micronesia
- Food and Drug Administration Home Page
- Industrial College of the Armed Forces
- Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries
- The Library of Congress
- Missouri State Government Home Page
- U.S. Sentencing Commission
Coming soon is a look at how New Zealand government web sites use the W3C recommendations.
- FirstGov.gov: the U.S. Government’s Official Web Portal.
- Validating an entire site. A modified version of the W3C validator and Python scripts to perform mass validation.