W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-validator@w3.org > February 2002

Re: html editors

From: Philip TAYLOR <P.Taylor@rhul.ac.uk>
Date: Tue, 12 Feb 2002 12:08:13 +0000
Message-ID: <3C6905AD.A2F09569@Rhul.Ac.Uk>
To: ewitness - Ben Fowler <bfowler@ewitness.co.uk>
CC: www-validator@w3.org


ewitness - Ben Fowler wrote:

> >  > The only validation error that you are likely to see in
> >>  Dreamweaver is missing ALT attributes. So it is not really
> >>  that disturbing.
> >
> >If only that were true; by default, DW doesn't even emit a DOCTYPE
> >directive, ...
> 
> Whilst this is somewhat irritating; as Dreamweaver is a tool
> for the world wide web, the lack of a DOCTYPE tag is hardly
> a fatal drawback as browsers (at least in general) make no use
> of such a tag. If you require Dreamweaver to include a DOCTYPE
> tag in each a new document it creates, you can set up a template,
> which would also allow you to include <LINK> and <META> tags,
> set up colours and a stylesheet to your taste.

I don't understand your use of "If", as in "If you require Dreamweaver
 to include a DOCTYPE ..."; this is the www-validator list, and
I had (I thought reasonably) assumed that all members were concerned
with issues of document validity.  Since an HTML document can neither
be valid nor invalid in the absence of a DOCTYPE, the issue of 
"/If/ [I] require Dreamweaver to include a DOCTYPE..." doesn't come 
into it.  

Which is not to say that our local implementation does not provide
a DOCTYPE by default; we have provided templates (including the 
default template) which add a DOCTYPE and various elements of meta-data, 
but my criticism was of DW as supplied, not "as tweaked by an informed user".

> More importantly, most tools default to HTML 4.01 (or XHTML),
> and so little is lost with not having a <!DOCTYPE>.
> 
> >throws away trailing slashes in relative URLs, ...

> I am still on Dreamweaver 3 (it still works), and it doesn't
> have this behaviour in my hands.

It's a while since I used DW3; could you possibly post the code
generated when the "Catherine wheel" tool is used to generate
a link to a sub-directory (and not to any individual file therein).

> >and is capable of generating the most appalling code ...
> 
> Aside - Do you know of a superlative beyond most?

Possibly, but I'm prepared to consult Quirk if you think it will add
anything to the debate.

> If you think that Dreamweaver's code is any way appalling, you
> must have lived a particularly sheltered life.

DW /can/ generate good code; it can also generate bad code, and therein
lies the cause of my criticism.

> >(e.g., <LI>s that are not within an <OL> or <UL> context.
> 
> Select a line; choose Text->List->Unordered list: Dreamweaver
> generates a pair of <OL> and <LI> tags for you. Dreamweaver
> will certainly handle a <LI> out of place (as do most browsers),
> this is  probably to implement the positive features of round trip
> HTML and not interfering where it is not wanted.

I did not say that DW /always/ places <LI>s outside of <UL>s or
<OL>s; I said it /can/ -- the circumstances during which it does
are no longer clear in my memory, but I seem to recall that it
happens when one uses the Indent/Outdent tools to try to adjust
the nesting of list elements.

> >HoTMetaL  PRO is, I think, still the only editor that generates
> >reasonable code even in the hands of the completely unskilled ...
> 
> I have never found an unskilled person happy with HotMetal, though
> I have not tried the latest version. (BTW I believe that there
> is a version of HotMetal on a magazine this month).

I'd be really grateful if you could say which magazine; a colleague
is keen to lay her hands on a copy and can't afford to buy one at 
the moment.

> >  (although /it/ emits a proprietary DTD in the default DOCTYPE, and
> >places <IMG>s after the closing </HTML> if the user tries to insert
> >one in a non-permitted context).  It also suppresses all syntax
> >checking during pasting, so copy-and-paste is a pretty sure way of
> >getting it to generate invalid HTML.
> 
> You don't mean 'generate' do you? Incorporate perhaps. Doesn't it flag it
> as invalid, and perhaps disallow saving with a .htm extension.

No, I mean "generate". /Ab initio/, there is no code; let the code
be generated solely by HMPRO, and then let the user cut and paste
logically-complete fragments of that code <stress>in tags-on view</>; 
as the users pastes, all error checking is suppressed, and the resulting 
document can be a complete mess, to the point that HMPRO is unable to 
correct the problem  and the user is forced to go into source code view 
to locate and remove the offending parts of the document.

> >  I just wish there were an editor which offered the functionality of
> >Dreamweaver and/or HoTMetaL, which regarded the choice of DOCTYPE as
> >fundamental, and which /never/ generated invalid code.  One day,
> >maybe...
> 
> emacs.

EMACS "offers the functionality of Dreamweaver and/or HoTMetaL" ?! You'll
be claiming next that it makes coffee as well! :-)

Philip Taylor, RHBNC
Received on Tuesday, 12 February 2002 07:08:32 GMT

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