W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > html-tidy@w3.org > July to September 2000

Re: table and form yet again

From: Sebastian Lange <lange@cyperfection.de>
Date: Thu, 28 Sep 2000 17:00:24 +0200
Message-Id: <>
To: html-tidy@w3.org
At 17:38 27.09.2000 -0400, xhtml@programmer.net wrote:
>If you want Tidy to 'correct' your html, you first need to establish what 
>your intent was when you wrote the incorrect code.
>Then, you need to decide what is the correct way to code for your intended 
>Then you need to decide IF it is possible for Tidy to have correctly 
>'deduced' your intent from your wrong code.
>Then you must find out if it would have been possible that someone else 
>wrote the same incorrect code, but with a different intended result, and 
>hence, a different correct way to correct the wrong code.
>Only then is it possible to approach the question of how to 'teach' Tidy 
>to correct your error.
>It is my understanding that Tidy can never be brought to the point where 
>it can correctly deduce the intent of all incorrect coding, and that the 
>intent of Tidy si to bring to your attention errors in syntax and 
>well-formedness in html code.  It is also my belief that, even if you 
>think you "Can't correct the code yourself by hand" ,  that it is easier 
>for you to learn to correct your own code than it is to teach a machine to 
>correct your code.
>The question of where Tidy should move an element that is in a containing 
>element that can not, according to the xhtml standard, contain the element 
>in question is of interest to me, but I don't think that this is Tidy's 
>purpose.  (I stipulate that it is incorrect to place a form element within 
>a form element, and that that, at least is correctable 'Tidy behavior')
>Then again, I don't know too much about this stuff, and I'm sure someone 
>else has a different opinion, and that there are more than 2 viewpoints on 
>all these questions.

Hello Glenn,

Well, the point is: it is not me who writes incorrect code - it's others. I 
use Tidy to automatically clean that up, in a realtime environment, thus 
manual editing of the input HTML is not possible.
So, personally I do not need Tidy for the pages that I produce, because I 
write incorrect code in the first place... but I do need Tidy to help me 
produce clean HTML pages with input from authors that know or care little 
about HTML standards.

Tidy's purpose is not to deduce whatever the author may have intended: as 
far as I understand, Tidy is designed to produce valid HTML which reflects 
best the interpretation of the (possibly invalid) input by common browsers.
In other words: what matters is not the author's intention but rather how 
the code is rendered in Netscape, MSIE, Opera & Co....

And believe me - it _is_ easier to teach a machine to correct the code than 
to teach those (hundreds of not caring) people about the standards. It's 
way beyond their head.

Sebastian Lange
Maybe the first chat site that validates as HTML
4.0 even though user input may contain HTML codes.

Courtesy to Dave Raggett's HTML Tidy:

Tidy your documents ONLINE:
Received on Thursday, 28 September 2000 11:01:16 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 6 January 2015 21:38:48 UTC