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Re: correct code - impaired presentation

From: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2000 07:52:41 -0500
Message-ID: <38B52999.74E7C044@w3.org>
To: Thomas Frovin Jensen <thomas@frovin.com>
CC: www-validator@w3.org
Thomas Frovin Jensen wrote:
> I have recently discovered the usefulness of HTML - validators. However
> there is one aspect that bothers me. It is possible to write a page with
> correct HTML that looks awfull on the screen, or rather looks nice in MS
> Internet Explorer, but is corrupted in Netscape Navigator. The problem
> is, which I think we all know, that Microsoft went so far in
> 'userfriendliness' that even if your HTML code is not completely correct
> Explorer attempt to show what was intended. Very 'friendly' to less
> professional code writers but leading to bad habits like "If its works
> in Explorer it is OK" Or 'not testing your page's performance in other
> browsers"
> It takes time to debug code that does not perform well in some browsers,
> particularly when several often nested tables are used, and over time
> old tricks to tame browsers' handling of tables as a layout mechanisms
> may cause troubles, particularly in the transition period towards new
> language generations.
> Does anybody know any existing 'layout' validators, since this seems to
> be a sore point for many web-people? I do not think of software that
> emulates all known browsers for visual inspection. Do you believe that
> this is a real problem that needs more effort or do you expect it to be
> solved by language development?
> pls respond directly.

The HTML (4) specification doesn't specify a definitive graphical
layout for the elements of the DTD. So there cannot be a layout
validator. However, you can use the CSS test suite [1] to compare
a browser with the expected layout behavior.

 - Ian

[1] http://www.w3.org/Style/CSS/Test/
Ian Jacobs (jacobs@w3.org)   http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs
Tel/Fax:                     +1 212 684-1814 or 212 532-4767
Cell:                        +1 917 450-8783
Received on Thursday, 24 February 2000 07:53:47 UTC

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