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

Re: Shaming compaines into improving their HTML

From: Nick Kew <nick@webthing.com>
Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 17:41:26 +0100 (BST)
To: jason r tibbetts <tibbettj@verdi.iisd.sra.com>
cc: "'www-validator@w3.org'" <www-validator@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.BSF.4.21.0105241720260.304-100000@fenris.webthing.com>

> > Most corporate websites don't have valid HTML.

As we know all too well.

> > Surely there must be a way to shame companies
> > into posting valid HTML? Or a way to show them the
> > kudos they could get by advertising the fact they have
> > valid HTML...

Point the stick at them!  Point out that in many countries they could
be at risk of an expensive and damaging lawsuit under disability
discrimination or human rights law.

> Companies aren't going to use valid HTML until two things happen:
> 
> 1) The most ubiquitous UAs stop handling invalid HTML silently, and

I think that's half-true.  The other part of the argument is that some
future browser release *might* break on any particular invalid construct.
The case for this is made rather well somewhere at htmlhelp.org - I forget
the exact location but probably under Liam's validator
(<URL:http://www.htmlhelp.org/tools/validator/>).

> 2) Authoring tools start producing valid HTML. I would wager that few large
> corporate sites are done with hand-written HTML; most Web designers probably
> -never- look at the source. Why should they?

[ aside: "never" seems a strong word to use here ]

We've supplied Site Valet software to some large corporates (the biggest
has about 2 million pages) for their intranets.  These are the kind of
companies who have legal departments, and realise that technology is
much cheaper than law.  This has always required a custom DTD, and some
compromise with the capabilities of their authoring software, but it's
certainly a step in the right direction.

I *hope* this will be a growing market ;-)

<plug class=shameless>
Point people at the Site Valet.  Especially the Intranet edition.
<URL:http://valet.webthing.com/intranet/>
</plug>

And while I'm posting, UK readers might be interested in Tom Worthington's
forthcoming talk, which looks very interesting.  His page at
<URL:http://www.tomw.net.au/2001/bat2001.html> is well worth a visit.


-- 
Nick Kew
Received on Thursday, 24 May 2001 17:36:43 GMT

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