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RE: Some quick ideas

From: Rotan Hanrahan <Rotan.Hanrahan@MobileAware.com>
Date: Mon, 25 Nov 2002 09:21:51 -0000
Message-ID: <D9BC812593BC2E44A803E6765FFA5E2D2DD06B@gpo.mobileaware.com>
To: "Terje Bless" <link@pobox.com>, "W3C Validator" <www-validator@w3.org>

Thank you Terje for the feedback.

> If you have any ideas about what criteria could be used to determine a
> percentage(-ish) progress, and how to present this to the user, we would
> very much like to hear them.

At a minimum the errors should be classified, and a weighting assigned to each
category according to perceived severity and difficulty of correction. Add all
of the (weighted) errors in the page. Divide the sum by a factor proportional to
the log of the size of the document (so that larger documents do not have
excessively large error scores, since the correction of one error in a document
can easily be replicated for all such errors that occur in the document). When
your score is Zero, you are conformant. Of course, this formula is quite simplistic,
but would be easy to implement and, regardless of its actual interpretation, if
the scoring system is consistent and has the property of always decreasing whenever
a correction is made, then it should be useful. Anyway, the marketing people won't
care as long as their scores beat the competition :-)

> Keeping statistics on what sorts of errors are found is a good idea (and I
> think Gerald had plans to implement this at some point). I've logged this
> as Bug #85 <URL:http://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=85>.

If this is implemented, could you maintain a page on W3.org that gives a monthly
summary of the most common errors? I'm sure it would be useful.

> But note well; for high volume or production purposes you will be much
> better off running a local instance of the Validator instead of hitting
> w3.org over the network.

I should have made clear that running a local copy was what I intended. Putting the
W3C site under stress would not be a good (or polite) thing to do.

Many thanks for the information.

---Rotan

-----Original Message-----
From: Terje Bless [mailto:link@pobox.com]
Sent: 24 November 2002 17:38
To: W3C Validator
Cc: Rotan Hanrahan
Subject: Re: Some quick ideas


Rotan Hanrahan <Rotan.Hanrahan@MobileAware.com> wrote:

>As AC Rep for Mobileaware, at the recent AC meeting I made some
>suggestions. Here they are, for your consideration. If you want
>clarifications, reply to the list and cc me directly.
>
>--- If validator gives boolean result, then "false" is so negative that
>you are not encouraged to try again. --- But if validator gives a
>ranking (e.g. percentage) then you are encouraged to improve your
>result. Eventually you get 100% and are conformant.

I'm not certain a percentage is necessarily the best way to indicate the
progress, but I like this idea for encouraging users to "stick with it".

Unfortunately, I don't immediately see any way to actually do something
like this. The current beta does tell you how many errors were detected --
which does give some sort of indication of your progress -- but that's
about as far as I can see this going.

If you have any ideas about what criteria could be used to determine a
percentage(-ish) progress, and how to present this to the user, we would
very much like to hear them.


>--- Validator should give tips to remedy non-conformant sites/pages
>based on analysis of non-conformant pages.

Have you seen the new "Tip of the Day" feature in the current Beta release?
It is not context sensitive (in that it doesn't give a tip to match the
errors detected in the current document), but it does give you hints
regarding common mistakes and best practices.

http://validator.w3.org:8001/


>--- On-line validator should keep track of most common errors and feed
>results to WGs who are interested in improving authoring tools. (This
>could be *very* useful.)

Keeping statistics on what sorts of errors are found is a good idea (and I
think Gerald had plans to implement this at some point). I've logged this
as Bug #85 <URL:http://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=85>.


>--- Our s/w uses XHTML as its primary input, generating all kinds of
>output formats. Can we use W3C validator in our input pipeline?

Sure. It looks like we'll end up keeping the XML Output option -- allthough
it will still be in beta when the new version is released -- which might
give you what you need for this. For the future, we're investigating adding
a SOAP interface for this purpose.

But note well; for high volume or production purposes you will be much
better off running a local instance of the Validator instead of hitting
w3.org over the network.


Thanks for your feedback!

-- 
"Python 2.0 beta 1 is now available from BeOpen PythonLabs.   There is a long
 list of new features since Python 1.6, released earlier today. We don't plan
 on any new releases in the next 24 hours."  - From Python 2.0b1 Announcement
Received on Monday, 25 November 2002 04:23:20 GMT

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