W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-validator@w3.org > June 1999

Re: What DTD?

From: Nir Dagan <nir@nirdagan.com>
Date: Tue, 1 Jun 1999 13:35:36 -0400 (EDT)
To: CNappin@inri.co.uk
cc: www-validator@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.WNT.4.10.9906012022200.-219427@zira.huji.ac.il>

I am very disappointed if that [validation  to custom DTD] does
work. I thought that the 
entire point of the W3C HTML validator is to independently verify 
that you have stuck to the W3C standards. What are you proving by
validating against a non-standard DTD ? That you have stuck to
SGML ?

Reply: Yes, and this is very important. If you write a document
that is valid to a custom DTD you can still predict how the
document will behave in browsers who support only the standard
DTD and ignore the tags of unknown elements. If a document isn't
valid at all, you have no clue how it will be rendered.

If you put the "Valid HTML 4" sticker on a page that isn't valid
HTML 4, then you are making that sticker meaningless...

Reply: true, and people shoulnd't put valid HTML x.y for a page
which is valid HTML z.r.

Alternatively [to browser testing] you can stick to the W3C
standards on HTML, CSS,
accessability etc. Then your pages will be usable on most
programs/platforms, by many kinds of users, and will also be
future proof to some degree.

Reply: Although I agree that validation is highly important,
browser testing provides *additional* useful testing. Browsers do
not support the specs completely, they have bugs (in particular
in CSS) etc. I would say that both validation and browser testing 
are useful. Both have their advantages and limitations and should
not be considered alternatives but complements.

Regards,
Nir Dagan

http://www.nirdagan.com
mailto:nir@nirdagan.com
tel:+972-2-588-3143

"There is nothing quite so practical as a good theory."
-- A. Einstein
Received on Tuesday, 1 June 1999 14:13:41 GMT

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