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

RE: doctype tip lacks motivation

From: Brian Kelly <b.kelly@ukoln.ac.uk>
Date: Mon, 2 Dec 2002 09:49:54 -0000
To: "'Olivier Thereaux'" <ot@w3.org>, "'Dan Connolly'" <connolly@w3.org>
Cc: www-qa@w3.org
Message-ID: <000101c299e8$2ad17e30$d513268a@ukoln.ac.uk>

I am involved in a project called QA Focus which has the remit of
ensuring that projects funded by a digital library programme in the UK
Higher Education sector comply with standards and best practices.  

I'm facing similar problems in motivating projects in areas in which no
immediate benefit can be seen.  My approach is to:

(a) Carry out and publish surveys of project Web sites.
(b) Respond to lack of compliance with standards and best practices by
publishing brief advisory documents on the areas concerned (similar to
W3C's QA tips)
(c) Commissioning case studies from the projects whiuch are implementing
standards and best practices on how they did it and any difficulties
they expereinced.
(d) Providing similar demonstrations of benefits of implementing
(e) Documenting techniques for monitoring compliance.

The survey findings are available at:

and documentation at:

One form of motivation I've employed is using various XSLT services to
repurpose XHTML Web pages.  In particular transforming embedded Dublin
Core metadata into RDF and then visualising the RDF.  In cases where the
page is HTML 4 and doesn't have a DOCTYPE I've used the online version
of Tidy to convert it to XHTML.  This can be seen at:


Brian Kelly
UK Web Focus
University of Bath 
Email: B.Kelly@ukoln.ac.uk
Web: http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/
Phone: 01225 38 3943

> -----Original Message-----
> From: www-qa-request@w3.org [mailto:www-qa-request@w3.org] On 
> Behalf Of Olivier Thereaux
> Sent: 02 December 2002 08:20
> To: Dan Connolly
> Cc: www-qa@w3.org
> Subject: Re: doctype tip lacks motivation
> hello Dan,
> Thanks for the feedback on this draft tip (it is a draft, isn't it... 
> checking, yes.)
> On Monday, Dec 2, 2002, at 15:01 Asia/Tokyo, Dan Connolly wrote:
> >
> > I found this draft tip:
> >
> >   Don't forget to add a doctype - Quality Web Tips
> >   http://www.w3.org/2001/06tips/Doctype
> > Does anybody have any evidence that
> > "browsers may not behave correctly if you
> > don't set a proper Doctype"?
> As far as I know, the last generation of browsers have two modes, the 
> "this document is valid I will behave nicely" mode, and the "damn, no 
> doctype, I'll see what I can do" mode (aka quirk mode). Not that they 
> differ wildly, but if developers keep following this trend, the 
> difference may become sensible.
> > I think HTML documents should begin
> > like this...
> > <html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
> >   <head>
> How is this relevant to the QA tip about doctypes?
> XHTML1.0 second edition, section 3.1.1, point 4, and HTML 
> 4.01 section 
> 7.2 both say "Use a doctype". If you want to change this, fine by me, 
> but this is for www-html, not here.
> > The best motivation I can find is...
> >
> >   A doctype will allow you to use widely-deployed
> >   DTD-based tools (such as this validation service)
> >   to find likely errors in your document.
> This is a good one, and I will add it.
> Thank you.
> -- 
> Olivier
Received on Monday, 2 December 2002 04:51:07 UTC

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