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RE: Tidy becomes less forgiving

From: J. David Bryan <jdbryan@acm.org>
Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2001 14:47:47 -0400
Message-Id: <200109171856.f8HIu2f29766@mail.bcpl.net>
To: HTML Tidy List <html-tidy@w3.org>
On 17 Sep 2001, at 13:00, Reitzel, Charlie wrote:

> That said, I believe de facto standards carry every bit as much weight as
> unimplemented "recommendations".  [...]
> I just think it is really important to keep development grounded in what
> HTML coders use today.

I disagree rather strongly with this view.

What HTML "coders" use today is invalid markup, necessitating that user 
agents attempt to guess the intent of the authors.  Dave Raggett's original 
work on Tidy was a laudable effort to transform such invalid markup into 
compliant HTML, thereby removing that guesswork and broadening 
compatibility across user agents.

To quote from Dave's original Tidy Web page:

  "Tidy corrects the markup in a way that matches __where possible__
   [emphasis mine] the observed rendering in popular browsers from
   Netscape and Microsoft."  

The "where possible" here is crucial.  If Tidy can divine the author's 
intent and reformulate it in compliant HTML, great.  If it can't, then 
compliant HTML that comes closest to that intent should be generated.  But 
either way, compliant HTML must be generated.

Changing Tidy to generate broken HTML would be a serious mistake, in my 

                                      -- Dave
Received on Monday, 17 September 2001 14:56:23 UTC

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