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Re: Working Group Decision on ISSUE-31 / ISSUE-80 validation survey

From: Karl Dubost <karld@opera.com>
Date: Tue, 26 Apr 2011 16:29:51 -0400
Message-Id: <70C718D1-C207-4E08-8618-BD2AECF58517@opera.com>
Cc: "'Aryeh Gregor'" <Simetrical+w3c@gmail.com>, "'HTMLWG WG'" <public-html@w3.org>
To: John Foliot <jfoliot@stanford.edu>

Le 21 avr. 2011 à 21:59, John Foliot a écrit :
> "A terrifyingly small percentage of the pages on the web pass a validator. 
> The far vast majority of pages doesn't even nest their tags correctly. The 
> sad truth is that while we can do what you suggest, it's not going to have a 
> big effect because people simply doesn't consult validators to a large 
> degree."
> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2011Mar/0627.html

There are two sides to this statement and both are difficult to assess. As a fact, when doing survey of the web accessible to crawler, we notice indeed a vast among of Web pages are not valid. 

1. These data can vary according to the validators (software bugs) of the moment and markup versions. (doctype, http issues, etc)

2. We have no way to evaluate if it's improving or not. Many Web pages do not have proper creation dates for their URIs or right caching information. In a perfect world, we would be able to say, in the past 90% of the new pages were invalid and now 20% of the *newly created* pages are invalid. [FAKE STATS].
Create a mod_tidy for Apache and the validity suddenly raises.

All of that to say it is not necessary a good metric, even less so for accessibility.

> As an invested participant, I am now hearing conflicting commentaries from 
> others involved in the discussion, so it would be useful if we all knew what 
> the real status is/was: validation *does* matter, or *doesn't* matter. I 
> pose this question to the larger Working Group as well.

Validation *does matter* as a tool for helping you to author code and keep a certain level of quality. It doesn't matter that much when it comes to consume HTML.

Validation doesn't serve any purpose when it is not part of the CMS as a *immediate* feedback loop. Most of the (professional) Web agencies deliver valid Web sites, but without quality assurance systems. And after a few months, the Web site becomes invalid.

Karl Dubost - http://dev.opera.com/
Developer Relations & Tools, Opera Software
Received on Tuesday, 26 April 2011 20:30:26 UTC

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