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Tidy5 and Perl

From: Andy Lester <andy@petdance.com>
Date: Mon, 2 Jul 2012 21:44:57 -0500
Message-Id: <7A06501E-F08B-4775-8D84-8A34CD2C7C27@petdance.com>
To: public-qa-dev@w3.org
Hi, my name is Andy Lester and automated testing and machine validation make me happy.  I'd like to help with the Tidy5 validator, and to integrate its use in Perl culture.

Some background:

I'm the author of two Perl modules that validate HTML:

* HTML::Lint http://search.cpan.org/dist/HTML-Lint/
* HTML::Tidy http://search.cpan.org/dist/HTML-Tidy/

HTML::Tidy is a wrapper around the original libtidy.

HTML::Lint is a pure Perl module that I wrote that's not nearly as featureful, but it doesn't require outside C libraries.

In both of these cases, the goal is to provide software creators Perl interfaces to validation functions for using in automated test programs.  For instance, I might have code that looks like this:

	use Test::HTML::Tidy;
        use Test::WWW::Mechanize;

	my $mech = Test::WWW::Mechanize->new();
	$mech->get( 'http://mywebsite.com' );
	tidy_ok( $mech->content );

This kind of validation program is very common in the Perl world, but we're stalled on HTML 4.  HTML 5 falls afoul of the two existing validators.

In this case, the $mech object fetches a web page, and then the content of the page is passed to a tidy function to validate it.  If there are errors, the tidy_ok() will throw an error, display the diagnostics, and the test program will fail.  Note that we're not using the reformatting functionality of tidy anywhere.

That's been the state of affairs until a week ago when Sierk Bornemann alerted me about the tidy-html5 fork at https://github.com/w3c/tidy-html5/.  This makes me very very happy.  First, I'm glad that there's HTML 5 support because I don't want to add it myself to HTML::Lint.  Second, it seems that you'll be making actual releases.  This has always been a sore point with me and the SF tidy.  Because there were never releases, just "get the source from CVS", I had to fork it just to have a stable target to build again, and I called it tidyp: http://tidyp.com/

So two points:

* Is there a timeline for a first release of the tidy-html5?  As soon as there is one, I'd like to be able to release an updated version of my HTML::Tidy module and use the new tidy going forward.

* I'd love to help however I can. I'm an old C hand and would love to work at cleaning up and validating the C code (lint, splint, etc).  Please put me to work.

Thanks,
xoxo,
Andy

--
Andy Lester => andy@petdance.com => www.petdance.com => AIM:petdance
Received on Wednesday, 4 July 2012 06:56:59 GMT

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