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

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.

Nir Dagan


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

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