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Is validity the real issue?

From: Michele Diodati <michele.diodati@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 6 Nov 2005 10:57:43 +0100
Message-ID: <2e1e87c0511060157x2b17af3bu@mail.gmail.com>
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org

I would propose to the group to examine another point of view about
validity issue.

It seems to me that the real problem with requesting validity to
developers is the ability of browsers to compensate for lacking of
validity: they succeed in rendering even a web page with thousand of
errors within. Though there are many good reasons to publish pages
without (X)HTML errors, no one of these is decisive. A "&nbsp" at the
end of a page is enough to get invalid code; at the same time, today
the front page of The New York Times <http://www.nytimes.com/> has 17
errors and I can nevertheless read it.

I think that requesting validity as a basic requisite for
accessibility need something stronger than a vague possibility that
something goes wrong with an AT. As developers, we need such a
guideline that, if we do not apply it, the effect is immediately
visible and unequivocal. So, if we think validity is indispensable, a
solution could be to request, for every web page published, a
content-type of application/xhtml+xml. In that case, validity is
actually necessary: no validity no rendering of the page. (To address
old browsers incapability with a content-type of application/xhtml+xml
is always possible to create a server side switch for serving a
content-type of text/html to all the old user agents.)

Best regards,
Michele Diodati

M i c h e l e    D i o d a t i
Via Pian due Torri 86 - 00146 Roma
Tel. 06 5503533 - Fax 06 233212132
Received on Sunday, 6 November 2005 09:57:47 UTC

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