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Audience Based Validator User Interface (ISSUE-206)

From: Laura Carlson <laura.lee.carlson@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 4 Aug 2012 14:55:46 -0500
Message-ID: <CAOavpvfTFB-UkaqL6xk7hTOn5JJDrSJgDvwAMaG4r_P8pUWEqg@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Michael[tm] Smith" <mike@w3.org>
Cc: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>, "public-html@w3.org WG" <public-html@w3.org>, HTML Accessibility Task Force <public-html-a11y@w3.org>, Judy Brewer <jbrewer@w3.org>
Hi Mike,

You kindly wrote [1]:

> First off, thanks immensely for making this update.

You're welcome.

[Snip]

> Anyway, that was then, this is now. I think we have a very good chance
> still of being able to merge these two proposals.

I hope so. I do appreciate that multiple constituencies use the validator.

The crux of the matter has always been that two validator user groups
1.) authors  2.) engineers of large web applications have different
goals. Good authors want to catch errors so that they can fix them.
Engineers of large Web applications want to suppress errors that are
beyond their control so it doesn't reflect poorly on their product.

The aims are totally different.

So let's brainstorm here. From the start can we address both groups
and their tasks as equally as possible while fulfilling end-user
requirements? How about the possibility of the vaildator having two
separate yet side-by-side options based on the audience?  A simple
user interface mockup is at:
http://www.d.umn.edu/~lcarlson/research/206/byaudience.html

The idea would be to have an audience section at the beginning of the
page. If the "Generator Developers" radio button is selected the new
attribute would kick in and allow the page to pass validation. And if
the "Authors" radio button is selected it wouldn't. Check out the
mockup and and let me know what you think.

You wrote [2]
> am hoping at this point that we can agree for
> the default to be to not show the explicit error messages

I can't agree to that, Mike. I think we all can agree that the
validator is an very important tool. As the W3C Validator
documentation states, "Validating Web documents is an important step
which can dramatically help improving and ensuring their quality..."
[3]. It provides a teachable moment, to whit: "Validation helps teach
good practices" [4].

I do agree that authors who are trying to catch errors should by
default continue to receive errors as they always have to help them in
that task. Hiding or suppressing errors from authors by default
defeats the whole effort to improve the web.

Best Regards,
Laura
[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2012Aug/0043.html
[2] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2012Aug/0044.html
[3] http://validator.w3.org/about.html
[4] http://validator.w3.org/docs/why.html#learning
-- 
Laura L. Carlson
Received on Saturday, 4 August 2012 19:56:15 GMT

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