W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > January 2010

Re: Understanding the "applicable specifications" clause

From: Dr. Olaf Hoffmann <Dr.O.Hoffmann@gmx.de>
Date: Wed, 20 Jan 2010 14:35:07 +0100
To: public-html@w3.org
Message-Id: <201001201435.07839.Dr.O.Hoffmann@gmx.de>
Leif Halvard Silli:
>What most people will be interested in is what the W3 Validator 
>considers valid.

Unfornately what the current experimental validator has to say
about documents using some W3C recommended formats 
without a doctype in it, is often wrong or completely useless.
These were at least my test results using several valid documents
of the recommended formats SVG tiny 1.2 and XHTML+RDFa.
Because the information or the hints of the validator are
wrong or useless, it does indeed not matter at all, which
extensions you put into those documents or what other
formats from well known or unknown namespaces are
inside such docments. Best what author can currently
do for such documents is, to ignore the current experimental
variant completely - and that should be obvious to any
author looking on the ridiculous hints of this tool for samples
of the mentioned formats ;o)

Since this happened, I think, the validator lost already some
authority about what can be considered a valid document -
and in earlier times this was already problematic due to the
limitations of DTDs, but still pretty helpful for a rough test.

And because newer formats tend to have no doctype
anymore or are far too complex for a proper scheme,
such validators will loose authority in the future much
more, if they do not manage to validate at least a mixture
of known formats and versions of formats without DTD,
what is obviously not a trivial task. Hopefully the current
validator experiments lead to something more usable
in the future. If not, we have to teach authors not to use
such validators anymore.

But this current validation crises has an advantage too -
authors learn not to rely on this validation and they can
start simply to do what already works - mixing formats
from different namespaces in one XML-document, even if
there is no DTD available for this mix.


Olaf
Received on Wednesday, 20 January 2010 13:38:30 UTC

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