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

Re: Shaming compaines into improving their HTML

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 16:41:12 -0700
Message-Id: <>
To: Bjoern Hoehrmann <derhoermi@gmx.net>
Cc: "JohnTNYC" <johntnyc@yahoo.com>, <www-validator@w3.org>
At 04:33 PM 5/24/2001 , Bjoern Hoehrmann wrote:
>* Kynn Bartlett wrote:
> >Why does anyone think that embarrassment is going to produce any
> >changes?
>It's a matter of fact.

It is?

>The Macintosh web browser iCab
>(http://www.iCab.de/) has a little smiley that is green
>and happy if the page contains no errors and indicates
>by looking sad or whatever if the page has some or many
>errors. I've come across a lot of Macintosh web developers
>who suddenly care for valid HTML; they want that smiley.

A very niche audience, a very niche browser; iCab is not having a
revolutionary effect on the world, your anecdotal evidence aside.
(Which I dispute anyway, but being anecdotal, it's indisputable by

> >If there's no reason to use valid HTML beyond avoiding the "nyah
> >nyah" factor from a small handful of HTML purists (that's us),
> >then of -course- there will be no change.
>I don't think this opinion is compatible with your position
>against XHTML Browsers that refuse to display a document
>with fatal errors, but you may educate me.

The only reason that XHTML browsers should fail with a fatal error
is because "we want it that way, to force people to be purists like
us".  It's entirely consistent.  If we need to -fabricate- meaningless
reasons to adopt valid (X)HTML -- "if you do it right, we'll laugh
at you", "if you don't do it right, browsers will break just BECAUSE,
rather than trying to salvage something" -- then we might as well just
give up and go home.

Is that consistent enough for you?  There should be enough value
inherent in valid markup that the benefits are obvious.  If they are
not obvious, then perhaps maybe it's not as valuable as we all
thought.  Certainly it won't become MORE valuable by fabricating
pointless reasons for doing using it.

>I think it's a very simple reason: If you don't code properly,
>your pages won't show up.

Except they do.  What is the motivation for making those pages suddenly
NOT show up?  Besides greater adherence to purist dogma.  Answer:  There
is none.  The argument "browsers shouldn't attempt to display broken
markup" is one propped up when the argument "valid markup is good"
fails, but it's a weak, lame argument.  More time should be spent making
the value of valid markup obvious than trying to coerce browser makers
into supporting one particular dogmatic stance at the expense of their
business success.


Kynn Bartlett  <kynn@idyllmtn.com>                http://kynn.com/
Technical Developer Liaison, Reef             http://www.reef.com/
Chief Technologist, Idyll Mountain Internet   http://idyllmtn.com/
Online Instructor, Accessible Web Design     http://kynn.com/+d201
Received on Thursday, 24 May 2001 19:41:22 UTC

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