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Conformance checkers

From: Jirka Kosek <jirka@kosek.cz>
Date: Wed, 01 Aug 2007 14:30:09 +0200
Message-ID: <46B07CD1.1070102@kosek.cz>
To: "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
Hi,

in section 1.3 (http://www.w3.org/html/wg/html5/#conformance) there is
the following text:

"Conformance checkers

Conformance checkers must verify that a document conforms to the
applicable conformance criteria described in this specification.
Conformance checkers are exempt from detecting errors that require
interpretation of the author's intent (for example, while a document is
non-conforming if the content of a blockquote element is not a quote,
conformance checkers do not have to check that blockquote elements only
contain quoted material).

...

The term "HTML5 validator" can be used to refer to a conformance checker
that itself conforms to the applicable requirements of this specification.

...

To put it another way, there are three types of conformance criteria:

* Criteria that can be expressed in a DTD.

* Criteria that cannot be expressed by a DTD, but can still be checked
by a machine.

* Criteria that can only be checked by a human.

A conformance checker must check for the first two. A simple DTD-based
validator only checks for the first class of errors and is therefore not
a conforming conformance checker according to this specification."

The current specification doesn't specify which conformance criteria can
be expressed by DTD, which are machine checkable and which are only
human checkable. Because of this this whole section is not very useful
because it really doesn't specify what will be and what will not be
checked by conformance checker.

My suggestion is to either

1) Precisely specify conformance criteria through the text of
specification and specify to which category they belong

or

2) Remove this whole section and say just something like -- "It is
generally not possible to automatically check all conformance criteria
defined in a prose of this specification. However various automatic
validators can check for some of them. Each such validator should
explicitly state which checks it does and doesn't do. Please note that
page marked as valid by such tool doesn't have to be conforming to all
criterias defined in this specification."

Jirka

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Received on Wednesday, 1 August 2007 12:29:37 UTC

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