W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-validator@w3.org > April 2000

Re: validator barfs on Netscape Composer output

From: Phil Burk <philburk@softsynth.com>
Date: Sat, 1 Apr 2000 14:13:45 -0500 (EST)
Message-ID: <38E649E3.284A50E5@softsynth.com>
To: bart@gigabee.com
CC: www-validator@w3.org
Hello Bart,

Thanks for responding.

Bart Szyszka wrote:
> I have doubts about your code. I'd be nice if you would post an URL.

If you run http://www.softsynth.com/jsyn/ on the W3C validator you will
see it barf on doctype. Then you will see messages like:

     Error: element "BODY" undefined

which suggests to me that the validator has lost its bearing. My
suggestions is to do the following:

   Because Netscape Composer is widely used,
   and because Netscape Communicator outputs lower case doctype,
   then do a case INsensitive comparison of the doctype to determine the
   "intended doctype".
   If a case sensitive comparison of the doctype fails then print:

       Error: DOCTYPE case is incorrect. Assuming "intended doctype".

   Then proceed with validation based on the "intended doctype" which
   will reduce the number of spurious messages.

This is similar to what Java compilers do when they see a missing ';'.
They just stick one in so that one missing ';' doesn't generate pages of
meaningless error messages. A validator is supposed to HELP the user,
not PUNISH them.

> > Once I got past that hurdle, the validator complained about having COLS
> > in my table tag. It also complained about stuff like size=+1. Now maybe
> > this stuff is technically illegal but the web pages seem to work.
> Size="+1" is supported. You probably need the quotes, however isn't it about
> time you started learning CSS? And handcoding for that matter? I don't think
> you'll be able to find a recommendation for Netscape Composer from any
> reputable source. It simply isn't good at producing proper code.

I don't think wanting to use a WYSIWIG editor is a bad thing. I spend
all day writing 'C' code, assembly and Verilog so I know how to code.
But when I write an English document I like to use the right side of my
brain for a while so that my head doesn't grow lopsided. I like to see
things in the actual font and style instead of having to interpret tags.
There's no reason Netscape can't produce legal HTML just because it is
WYSIWIG. The fanciest thing I do in HTML is make a table. Netscape
should be able to handle that.

> > 2) beat up Netscape to stop them from PRODUCING illegal code in their
> > Composer,
> You can give them a big punch just by not using the product.

I'm sure they will be crushed by my defection. I will send them an
e-mail but I was hoping the W3C might have more clout.

Phil Burk
Received on Saturday, 1 April 2000 17:28:12 UTC

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