Site Valet History

PreHistory

The pre-history of Site Valet goes back to 1996, when WebThing's first online tool for web developers went online. This was revised in 1997, when it was branded cg-eye and moved to htmlhelp.com. The present cg-eye tool is essentially unchanged since then.

Site Valet

Site Valet was originally created in 2000 by Nick Kew, as a toolkit integrating new and existing tools. The first new service Link Valet joined with cg-eye and Page Valet, a validator originally based on the WDG Validator under the Valet name. Later in the year 2000, these were joined by further online tools and a website monitoring service. Initially supported platforms were Linux and FreeBSD, with Apache webserver and PostgreSQL database backend.

An Intranet edition was developed in 2001 for corporate clients, and ported to other platforms including Windows and commercial Unix. This is customised for each Client to meet individual needs and help enforce their standards and processes, and to work with their content management systems. This is the ancestor of the current Enterprise Edition.

In late 2001 and 2002, major new additions were the Visual Validator (replacing the previous Page Valet with clear and intuitive new report formats) and Accessibility Valet, a powerful new tool to test conformance to accessibility guidelines, replacing the simple accessibility testing previously available in Page Valet.

Also in 2002, Site Valet upgraded to the Apache 2.0 platform, taking advantage of the new filter-chain architecture to build an altogether more powerful infrastructure than had previously been possible. This work has continued in 2003 with upgrades to Page Valet and AccessValet.

Work to date in 2003 has included the introduction of mod_accessibility, and the development with Openia of Enterprise Edition 2.0, a major upgrade to our flagship product for users who take Quality and Accessibility seriously.

Connections

Site Valet developer Nick Kew works closely with other developers in the field, including the W3C, where he is an active member of the WAI/ER working group, the Validator team, and most recently the QA Development group. He also works with the WDG and relevant opensource projects.

Site Valet remains at the forefront of relevant technologies, and offered developments such as machine-readable XML and EARL reporting options and webservices significantly ahead of others such as the W3C. For example, XML reporting in a validator was first developed by Nick for Site Valet, and Page Valet was the world's first tool to support EARL in an automatic report.