W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-validator-css@w3.org > December 2006

Re: Proposed changes in warning handling in the CSS validator

From: olivier Thereaux <ot@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2006 21:26:20 +0900
Message-Id: <A0C7F7C4-FA42-44D8-A796-D97E747E0847@w3.org>
Cc: CSS validator list <www-validator-css@w3.org>
To: David Dorward <david@dorward.me.uk>

Hi David,

Thanks for your reply.

On Dec 13, 2006, at 19:29 , David Dorward wrote:

>> One of the consequences of that is that the (rather unpopular)
>> accessibility-related warnings on color and background color will not
>> be present when running with the "default" validation parameters. I
>> gave it a long thought, and although the "no-color" warnings are  
>> well-
>> intentioned, they are imperfect, almost out of scope,
>
> Aren't all the warnings out of scope for a validator? Perhaps renaming
> the CSS Validator as the CSS Lint would be a good idea?

Fair enough, but even for a lint, it is arguable that some of the  
warnings, in their current function, are not extremely helpful.

>> and alienating more people than they are helping.
>
[...]
> I think this group can be helped by rephrasing the warnings.

Oh, good point, I forgot to mention that the no-color and no- 
background color are tentatively reworded.

See http://dev.w3.org/cvsweb/2002/css-validator/org/w3c/css/util/ 
Messages.properties.en

[[
You have no color set (or color is set to transparent) but you have  
set a background-color.
Make sure that cascading of colors keeps the text reasonably legible.
]]

> These people don't usually have a problem with seeing the warnings
> themselves (although possibly making the switch to turn warnings off
> more prominent would be useful), but with their clients (and potential
> clients) seeing the warnings and forming a bad impression of the  
> author.

I completely agree, this is a large part of our problem here.
As someone once told me personally: "I know what a warning is. No  
will you explain that in person to all of my clients?"

The upside is, clients are caring a lot about validation results...

> Perhaps this could be addressed by making the "This document validates
> as CSS!" message more prominent, and including an introductory
> paragraph explaining the difference between warnings and errors to the
> warnings section.

The positive validation results are much more visible in the version  
of the CSS validator we have been working on:
http://qa-dev.w3.org:8001/css-validator/validator?uri=http%3A%2F% 
2Fwww.w3.org
(fat green banner and all - [warning] this is work in progress )
But I don't think we can expect the clients to read any kind of  
explanation.


For some insight on how many people think about the warnings, see:
http://sonspring.com/journal/css-validator-nonsense
(especially the comments)

One of the comment basically argues that "the tool should either be  
smarter (about cascading, about contrast), or shut up". That's a fair  
point. We're working on making it smarter (Peter is looking into it),  
and although I think the warning have some value and I won't get rid  
of them altogether, toning them down for a while will give everyone a  
break...

Thanks,
-- 
olivier
Received on Wednesday, 13 December 2006 12:26:43 UTC

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