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Re: Uses of tidy [Was: Re: Duplicate attribute names]

From: Richard A. O'Keefe <ok@atlas.otago.ac.nz>
Date: Fri, 17 Nov 2000 10:43:48 +1300 (NZDT)
Message-Id: <200011162143.KAA27034@atlas.otago.ac.nz>
To: html-tidy@w3.org, lange@cyperfection.de
I wrote:
 The problem here is that a lot of us use Tidy on HTML that we did not
 write and do not have ready access to the author of.

Larry W. Virden wrote:
    >I use tidy on my own code, or that of co-workers, so that we can improve it.
    >I even have used it on pages on the web that are crashing my browser - I
    >then send suggested changes to the authors.

    >But you list a new use that intrigues me-  running tidy on code that
    >you didn't write ... for what is this processed html being used?
	
Well, for one thing, the departmental web pages.  Their development was
contracted out to a company who, for example, said that "it would be
unethical to try to follow the W3C's accessibility guidelines" and
"if we had been told to write HTML that conforms to the HTML spec we
would have refused the job".  I don't know how to find words strong enough
to express their refusal to countenance cleaning up their pages.
"Ready access" in my book includes "not having them reject, with vigorous
anger, the idea that their pages could or should be improved."

And then the people here who *are* cleaning up the pages (the man who
teaches Web use and writing knows what he is talking about) use an HTML
editor that insists on generating non-standard HTML, rather pointlessly.
They don't have much choice, so far we've only found one editor that doesn't
do that, Amaya, and it's sufficiently unreliable that they'd rather not use
it.  Here the "author" responsible for the un-Tidyness is the company that
wrote the editor, and I assure you that they are *not* interesting in our
opinion that the editor should generate clean HTML unless explicitly told
otherwise.  So it's a view-on-several-machines, edit, Tidy, view, edit,
Tidy cycle, and we *can't* stop the bad stuff getting in.

Then there are the University web pages, especially ones generated by the
Information Technology Services group.  They *cannot* be made to understand
that setting the fonts so that they work fine on their machine but show up
in 7pt type on mine is just not on.  In fact, if people like my patches
for stripping out non-standard attributes (posted on the 9th of this month),
I'll send out another patch, for clipping <FONT SIZE="-x"> attributes so that
text is not made too small.  That's probably the most important thing I need
from Tidy.

While I'm at it, something that would be rather helpful would be if there
were an option for Tidy to warn about blocks that are a fixed width.
(Not the occasional column in a table, but where the _entire_ table is of
fixed width.)  It seems as if the width is _always_ chosen to suit the
window size the author likes on their PC, and I very often get important
text clipped off the right.
Received on Thursday, 16 November 2000 16:44:06 GMT

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