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Re: Balancing the myth-busting.

From: Gez Lemon <gez.lemon@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 9 Aug 2005 19:48:12 +0100
Message-ID: <e2a28a92050809114839902cba@mail.gmail.com>
To: David Dorward <david@dorward.me.uk>
Cc: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org

Hi David,

On 09/08/05, David Dorward <david@dorward.me.uk> wrote:
> > I disagree. For the markup validator to remain useful, I personally
> > think it should do more than just confirm whether or not the markup
> > conforms to a DTD.
> 
> Rubbish. Its plenty useful. 

I'm not saying that the validator is useless in its current state, I'm
just saying that it could do with updating to reflect changes to the
DOM when a document is loaded.

> Most sites have no need to mess about with
> the DOM, and carefully written scripts can ensure that the DOM remains
> sane (especially when you consider that the scripts are more likely to
> be written by a small number of programmers then a large number of
> content editors).

I'm not talking about carefully written scripts. I'm talking about
scripts that insert invalid elements and attributes deliberately to
fool validators. These scripts aren't uncommon.

> > The validator creates a document tree in order to parse the nodes
> > and ensure they validate against the appropriate DTD.  If they
> > already have a document tree, it would be relatively easy for them
> > to apply any changes to the DOM through scripting when a document is
> > loaded to their document tree.

> It really isn't. Especially once you consider that the scripts which
> alter the DOM may take user input - and since you can't
> programmatically determine all possible user input (at least not
> sanely), you run in to an impossible-to-scale wall.

Which is why I mentioned when the document is loaded. If user input is
accepted when the document is loaded, the data should be considered
empty.

> > Jeffrey Zeldman recently praised Bobby van der Sluis [1] on a new
> > way to embed Flash while supporting web standards [2].  I don't wish
> > to undermine Bobby's work, as it does more than purely embed a Flash
> > movie, but it doesn't support standards;
> 
> Using hacks (such as that JavaScript one) to hide details from testing
> tools has long been a favoured approach of those who like the sound of
> "supporting standards" but don't really understand what that means. It
> would be better to educate them then to try to stay ahead of their
> hacks.

So we agree there's a problem. The only difference is that I would
like to see the problem addressed.

> > If validation is important, then surely it's important that the DOM
> > remains valid, particularly as developers are encouraged to separate
> > structure, presentation, and behaviour. I'm not taking an
> > authoritative stance on this issue; it's just that I believe the
> > markup validator needs updating to remain useful.
> 
> No, users of it need to understand what it does and what the results
> actually mean.

And that can only be done through education; the article on Juicy
Studio is a start, as it will at least raise awareness of the problem.

Best regards,

Gez

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Received on Tuesday, 9 August 2005 18:48:20 GMT

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