W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-evangelist@w3.org > October 2003

Re: XHTML in the real world

From: Jim Ley <jim@jibbering.com>
Date: Thu, 2 Oct 2003 16:50:23 -0000
Message-ID: <004b01c38905$461ca4f0$428f9bd9@Snork>
To: <public-evangelist@w3.org>

"Bob Clary" <bc@bclary.com>
> How do we deal with sites like this?
>
> <http://news.com.com/>
> <http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=http%3A%2F%2Fnews.com.com%2F>
>
> Does anyone want to take the lead in contacting them and asking them to
> produce valid XHTML. I would love to a) hear their response and b) see
> the site corrected.

We need to demonstrate some business reasons for retrofitting compliant
XHTML in there, future development is an easier sell, but retrofitting a
site which is "working" is much harder.  I'm sure they have some QA process
which checks that the site works in UA's, and it probably mostly does.

As you say later, getting the process changed is going to be difficult, I
think the fact they've moved to XHTML shows they've either been fooled by
bandwagons and just stuck some boilerplate gibberish there, or are actually
caring and trying to move to a standardised language.  For me we shouln't
encourage invalid XHTML - if it's going to be invalid it's much better it's
HTML.  The only chance UA's have of optimising for valid content is if they
can recognise when it's likely to come.

So, I think we should only advocate XHTML if the person is willing to go the
whole hog and actually have a publishing process which ensures validity
(something like Nick Kew's apache modules on the front) the risks of invalid
XHTML served as application/xhtml+xml make it a very hard sell - make one
mistake in your authoring and your content isn't available?  So on these
large sites we need to demonstrate a CMS system that can ensure validity,
beyond transcoding modules such as Nick's, are there any CMS's that do this?

Invalid HTML is safer, there's a de-facto standard in tag-soup error
correction, so if the CMS has a bug, the site doesn't disappear until it's
fixed, so for this it's safer to advocate HTML 4.01, that also helps with
missing closing tags etc. (although not he entities problem) as they're
inserted - even if it won't be what the author intended.

Either way, I can't see how to sell any retrofitting activity can be sold to
the site, where's the business value?  I think we should concentrate on the
ones we can win.

Although, it may not be completely impossible with news.com.com, as they do
support RSS, and it's valid, so some parts of their CMS is valid XML.

Jim.
Received on Thursday, 2 October 2003 12:54:38 GMT

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