Re: Spyglass HTML Validator

Murray Altheim (murray@spyglass.com)
Fri, 25 Oct 1996 13:22:33 -0500


Message-Id: <v02140b01ae96b378f394@[208.203.149.85]>
Date: Fri, 25 Oct 1996 13:22:33 -0500
To: "David Perrell" <davidp@earthlink.net>
From: murray@spyglass.com (Murray Altheim)
Subject: Re: Spyglass HTML Validator
Cc: www-html@w3.org

"David Perrell" <davidp@earthlink.net> writes:
>Many thanks to Murray Altheim for the Validator, and for fun with
>Borneoneons and rat's patooties.

You're quite welcome. Both Spyglass and myself personally are trying to put
our money where our mouth is in providing the Web community with a tool
that allows document authors to insure document interoperability and
longevity. There's no promise yet, but we hope to have a WinNT4.0 version
as well sometime soon.

>I tried the validator on some never-validated pages and was amazed to
>find the only things flagged were URL filenames containing "&", which I
>dutifully changed. But in looking at RFC 1808 I see there's nothing
>wrong with "&" in URL filenames (segment = *pchar). A bug?

Note that the Spyglass HTML Validator does not parse the contents of
attribute values, except to check that the content is valid within the
content model of the DTD. In other words,

    <FONT SIZE=+2>

is invalid, as the plus sign requires the attribute to be quoted (the plus
sign is not a valid NAME character). But

    <FONT SIZE="sadfosjf;akujszsia;skdjf;ajj">

is perfectly valid, even if nonfunctional in the application conventions of
HTML.

The "validity" of a URL also implies its functionality: that it is in the
correct format and that it points to an existing target. The parser does
not check documents against the full constraints of the application
conventions of HTML, only that the document conforms to the DTD.

I believe that a formal announcement of the Validator is forthcoming. We
are hoping to have a concurrent announcement with Microsoft, as they are
putting it up on their SiteBuilder page and including it in the SiteBuilder
CD-ROM.

Murray

```````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````
    Murray Altheim, Program Manager
    Spyglass, Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts
    email: <mailto:murray@spyglass.com>
    http:  <http://www.cm.spyglass.com/murray/murray.html>
           "Give a monkey the tools and he'll eventually build a typewriter."