W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-qa@w3.org > April 2002

Re: New version of Quality Tips for Webmaster

From: Terje Bless <link@pobox.com>
Date: Fri, 19 Apr 2002 00:51:14 +0200
To: Karl Dubost <karl@w3.org>
cc: www-qa@w3.org, www-validator@w3.org, connolly@w3.org
Message-ID: <f01050101-1013-3DB75DC2532211D6B75900039300CF5C@[]>
Karl Dubost <karl@w3.org> wrote:

>Olivier and I have worked on the page Quality Tips for Webmaster.

Great! Minimalist is one things, but the original was on the duller side of
deadly boring. Much nicer now. :-)

>A change from the Dan's version -> We would like that the validator take
>the list of Tips from the page Overview itself.

Ain't going to happen AFAIC. Sorry.

Dan swooped in, added a horrid mess of a XML parser in 20 lines of Perl
(his own description), comitted it against my objection, and swooped back
out again showing no signs of sticking around to maintain it over the long
haul. So I ditched it and replaced it with a version that I'm willing to

The new version uses our standard configuration file format so it can be
processed by our standard configuration file parser; and can be upgraded to
use any new configuration mechanism we may come up with in the future.

The standard configuration system doesn't support getting data over HTTP.
And even if it did, I'd be disinclined to do so for reasons of robustness
and to keep the code somewhat clean (a cleanliness that I've spent a _lot_
of time achieving); not to mention supporting local installations that are
_not_ a fat LAN pipe away from Overview.html and possibly behind a

And parsing structured data out out of a generic "document" is right out;
XML it may be, but it sure ain't the XML format I'd have chosen.

The options immediately open are a) to manually keep the Validator in sync
or b) to make a utility script that can periodically (from cron, say)
perform the update (by scraping Overview.html). I'd say a) is the best
option; given the rate of updates for the QA Tips this should be no

The new implementation of the QA Tips in Validator also makes it easy for
someone to update just the Tips DB without having to familiarize themselves
with 2000 lines of (still much too) crufty Perl code and assorted
supporting files. All you have to do is...

  cvs get validator/htdocs/config/tips.cfg

...and add a line of "<url><TAB><slug>", and "cvs ci" with an appropriate
log message.

>For all I know they probably have a standard for
>which direction to put the thread on a bolt.

That would be ISO 261:1973.         -- John Cowan
Received on Thursday, 18 April 2002 19:16:23 UTC

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