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

Re: W3C supposed to have something to do with STANDARDS

From: Terje Bless <link@tss.no>
Date: Mon, 4 Oct 1999 10:42:15 +0200
Message-Id: <199910040835.KAA04328@vals.intramed.rito.no>
To: Uriel Wittenberg <uw@urielw.com>
cc: W3C Validator <www-validator@w3.org>
[ I'm taking Gerald out of the CC list. He reads the list when he has the ]
[ time and this issue is list material.                                   ]

On 29.09.99 at 06:36, Uriel Wittenberg <uw@urielw.com> wrote:

>The HTML standards body should not be approving HTML that's been run
>through any arbitrary validator.

They aren't! If /you/ use the badge on a page then /you/ are asserting
compliance with the relevant DTD (which, for HTML 4.0, happens to come from
the W3C). What it is that makes you think you are justified in your
assertion is largely irrelevant. The W3C makes no such assertion.

If you want the W3C to give absolute assurances as to the validity of a
page, they would have to set up a certification programme -- which,
incidentaly, would have to be partially done by humans as there are aspects
of the standards that cannot be expressed in a DTD -- with all the overhead
that entails. Such a service could not possibly be free, or even cheap, for
page authors to use.

>If it does we'll be stuck forever with the current anarchic situation:
>massive waste of human industry as web authors worldwide find it's not
>adequate to learn the rules, they also have to test repeatedly under a
>range of browsers.

This is hardly the W3C's fault (though Tim has to take some of the blame
for the lousy specs we all started with ;D). The only way to do anything
about this is to put your money where your mouth is. Do not hire a web
design shop that do not produce valid HTML. Do not produce anything but
valid HTML even if it means the Fortune 500 company that wants them will go
to a different web design shop.

These things will have a far greater effect then all the bitching and
moaning of the Web Standards whatnot. Petitioning MS and Netscape to
improve their products is flailing at windmills. The only way to effect
change is to make The Right Thing the best choice for businesses. Forget
your idealism; businesses are notoriously pragmatic and need pragmatic
reasons to Do The Right Thing.

>The W3C logo should only be permitted -- and is only permitted, given a
>sensible reading of the site -- after W3C-endorsed validation.

Well, the "W3C" has spoken on this so I guess there isn't much point in you
telling them that they are wrong, is there?

>"Another site that does true SGML validation" begs the question. People
>don't know how arbitrary 3'rd party sites are doing validation.

Then they use the W3C Validator. If I make an assertion I've usually some
reason to believe that my assertion is correct. If I feel that using a
different software tool to verify the validity of my HTML is good enough,
then I'll base my assertion on that. If I don't, then I'll use the W3C

Given that I know that both the W3C Validator and the WDG Validator use the
same SGML parser I would be perfectly satisfied making such an assertion
based on validation with the WDG Validator. However, if I didn't happen to
know this, I would have used the W3C Validator to make sure.

>P.S. Email me on replies as I've unsubscribed.

I'm sorry to put it like this, but you are starting to appear like a troll
here. You continue to belabour this point after it's been discussed to
death several times. You ask for an "official" statement from Gerald as to
the W3C view of this issue, and then proceede to contradict him. You insist
on putting this issue in the most confrontational light possible. And now
you keep at it after you unsubscribed from the list.

Please have the common courtesy to subscribe to the lists you post to!

I understand your point, but I'm not entirely clear on what you want done
about it.

Do you want the W3C to refuse the use of the badges to anyone who hasn't
passed the W3C Validator, regardless of the page's validity? That seems
counter-productive to me. You'll only limit the amount of validated web
pages that way; not improve it.

Do you want the W3C to maintain a list of "approved" validators? That would
be a bit much to ask, IMO, as the work involved would be significant.

Do you want a W3C branded certification programme? That would be expensive
and I seriously doubt it would catch on.

Or do you want the text accompanying the badge to be more verbose as to the
intended meaning of the badge? I'm sure this could be arranged, but I'm not
convinced as the necessity or, even, purpose.
Received on Monday, 4 October 1999 04:36:30 UTC

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