W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-validator@w3.org > August 2001

Re: Suggestion: Check elment first, attribute second

From: Bryce Nesbitt <bryce@obviously.com>
Date: Thu, 02 Aug 2001 01:35:15 -0400
Message-ID: <3B68E693.2CC5482@obviously.com>
To: Christian Smith <csmith@barebones.com>
CC: www-validator@w3.org
Christian Smith wrote:
> On Wednesday, August 1, 2001 at 11:38 PM, bryce@obviously.com (Bryce
> Nesbitt) wrote:
> > The validator first checks attributes, then the element.  This means if
> > I do something like:
> >
> > <csobj w="208" h="77" t="Button">
> >
> > I get a long series of complaints about each attribute ("w", "h", "t")
> > before I find that the validator actually does not understand the
> > <csobj>.  An improvement would be to check the element FIRST, and give
> > just one error message.
> This seems quite reasonable. It is pointless to complain about attributes
> in an element when the element itself is unknown.

Yup.  Those error messages just get in the way...

> > I've had trouble getting web page authors to use the validator, because
> > of issues like this (spurious error messages -- especially because of
> > valid Javascript).
> In what case is valid javascript causing errors to be reported? Examples?


The w3c validator is basically useless for validating pages that dynamically generate
HTML with JavaScript.  While I don't expect the validator to understand JavaScript,
it could at least be silent about the supposed syntax violations.  The people
who designed JavaScript may have been idiots, and may have horribly polluted
the SGML syntax, but now we have to live with it.

> > A way to be less strict might improve usage.
> Being less strict is not the answer. If the tool is useless it doesn't
> matter how much it is used. The first item however does not (in my
> opinion) make the checker less strict.

I've had problems with half a dozen web designers, getting them to use the
validator.  They all complain that it complains about non-issues.  They
complain that major websites don't pass.  Here's a typical complaint,
that I got just today:

	My web designer wrote:
	"Not to be difficult but please run www.ibm.com, www.apple.com,
	www.yahoo.com, www.cnn.com through http://validator.w3.org/ and you will
	notice that all the "bugs" are exactly the same as your site. "

Therefore they don't use it.  At all.
They don't use it, and miss big things like misnested tables, incorrectly
used attributes, direct FrontPage/Word/Microsoftisms and worse.

Which does better for the standards community:
	o A strict validator that many people won't run.
	o A lose validator that's more practical to use for real websites,
	  but also less strict.

Received on Thursday, 2 August 2001 11:59:30 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 1 March 2016 14:17:30 UTC