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

Re: Flagging & in URL in HTML 4.01 transitional type.

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Sat, 9 Jun 2001 09:21:09 -0700
Message-Id: <a05100303b747f9aa8751@[10.0.1.19]>
To: mike@minivend.com
Cc: www-validator@w3.org
At 11:56 PM -0400 2001/6/08, Mike Heins wrote:
>Perhaps that is true. Yet why do we have an HTML 4.01 transitional
>spec, and an HTML 4.01 strict spec? And why does a C compiler have
>a -pedantic switch? And why does a program like lint(1) have differing
>levels?

I think you are making an incorrect jump by necessarily comparing the
validator to lint or a C compiler, and that may be taking you down the
wrong path.

As for why we have HTML 4.01 Transitional and HTML 4.01 Strict -- one
contains old presentation markup, one doesn't (relegating that for the
most part to CSS).

Your confusion may stem from the term "Strict" -- it doesn't mean
"more pedantic" or "pickier".  HTML 4.01 Trans -and- HTML 4.01 Strict
are BOTH equally pedantic specifications.   It's just that Transitional
has a different, larger set of acceptable elements and attributes.

In no way does HTML 4.01 Transitional correspond to "this is what
works in practice" and HTML 4.01 Strict to "this is what you should be
doing."  They are both picky.

>Maybe I am arguing that the HTML 4.01 transitional spec is wrong
>and should be changed.

Maybe so, but it ain't gonna happen.  You haven't even come close to
presenting reasons that HTML 4.01 should be changed -- "wah, my stuff
doesn't validate and it's too much work to change it all??" -- and you
don't seem to understand the difference between Transitional and
Strict.

Transitional and Strict are -not- simply two different settings for
pedantry values!

>All I wanted to do was find out solid reasons
>why the validation flagged that, and I haven't found that out. No real
>reason for this has been shown other than the case of &copy=, and this
>is defended because the semicolon is optional in an entity, as defined by
>the spec. Why the heck would the semicolon be optional? What good reason
>could there be for that? No one seems to know or care. It is the spec,
>after all, and it must be validated. If that is the totality of the
>mission statement, congratulations to the authors.

Well, a number of good reasons have been presented.  The foremost of which
is "it does it that way in SGML, and HTML inherits from SGML".  I know
you won't accept it and you'll start getting all insulting to the
people who create HTML or SGML or whatever.  Oh well.

>I think I just ended up on the wrong list.

I think so too.

>  > If you don't care what the specification says or why it says it, why
>>  do you care if your code can be validated against it?  It's all about
>  > the pedantry, man.
>  > Validation does not mean "the browsers will or won't accept it".  If
>>  that is what you think it means, then you need to do some research into
>  > what validation is REALLY about.
>If you look at the dictionary definition of pedant, it has a word in
>the definition -- "needlessly".  And pedants are eventually ignored by
>most people, as I feel HTML 4 compliance is being ignored. I think
>have found out why.

Yes, yes, HTML 4 sucks because your particular bit of invalid code is
invalid, and therefore, the spec should either be changed to fit your
your faulty knowledge of the spec.  If I had a quarter for each person
who's said that...

Sigh.  Dictionary definitions presented as supposedly intellectual
discourse.

Many of my friends are pedants.  They are typically good people, but
they have this urge to correct others -- for example, if I misspell a
word in an online forum.  That would be annoying.

However, if I were to write a document for my job, and sat down and
ran it through a pedantic spellchecker, I might similarly find
misspellings.  Now, assuming I had willingly chosen to use the
spellchecker, it would simply be absurd for me to sit around and
gnash my teeth and complain and rail against the gods of English
spelling, if it found a word I had typed incorrectly.  "The English
language should be changed!  This is stupid!  Anyone who reads it
can understand that I meant 'schedule' instead of 'scedule'!  What
a piece of crap this spellchecker is!"

If I then went to a mailing list for spellcheckers, and complained
that the English language should be changed, and the spellchecker
should accept 'scedule', there is a very good chance that I would be
met with polite rebuke and correction, and perhaps a bit of chuckling
pity.  If I persisted, though, I might very well find myself laughed
at.

This analogy has nothing to do with the current situation, of course.

>This list appears to be silently moderated and without charter, not
>allowing me to post or subscribe after my first post. I find that rude
>in the extreme, particularly so in a quasi-public forum.

I haven't found that problem at all.  My guess is that you either posted
from a different address, or posted something that contains certain
list administrative stop words, like "subscribe."  I lean towards
"sending from a different address other than the one you are subscribed
to, without checking the archives, simply because the "From" header and
the "Reply-To" header in your email address differ.

>Thanks for your response, and please bid the folks there a kind adieu,
>as I cannot.

I'll let them know.  It's a shame that you have decided that we all suck
because you don't know something, instead of choosing to increase your
knowledge and learn something new.

-- 
Kynn Bartlett <kynn@idyllmtn.com>
http://www.kynn.com/
Received on Saturday, 9 June 2001 12:30:23 GMT

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