W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-validator@w3.org > August 2003

Validator suggestion: show less errors!

From: Simon Willison <cs1spw@bath.ac.uk>
Date: Thu, 28 Aug 2003 16:33:21 -0500
Message-ID: <3F4E7521.7040109@bath.ac.uk>
To: www-validator@w3.org

Hi all,

It's fantastic to see that work is progressing to make the validator 
more friendly to less technical users. In my opinion, one of the biggest 
"turn offs" with the current validator is the sheer number of errors it 
can bring up for a page. For example, I'm looking at the validation 
screen for www.msn.com at the moment (shudder) and it's displaying 282 
errors! It's no wonder that many web designers hit the validator, take 
one look at the results and get put off validation for life.

I suggest reducing this by intelligently "grouping" errors. Instead of 
282 errors in a big, intimidating list the validator could produce 
something along these lines:

"""

We found 282 errors in your document, summarised as follows:

24 occurrences of an XHTML-style short tag in an HTML document - for 
example, <br /> where there should have been <br>. [ more details ]

37 occurrences of unknown entities in URLs, for example &id and &ru. 
These are most commonly caused by & signs in URLs that have not been 
properly escaped as &amp;. [ more details ]

83 occurrences of <tr> elements in invalid positions, probably due to a 
missing thead, tfoot or tbody tag.

...

[ View a full error report ]

"""

This could be the default interface for the validator - the current 
interface could be made available at an "advanced" URL.

I am sure this would make the validator far less intimidating to users, 
with the hopeful result that more people would validate their sites and 
fix their validation errors.

Thanks,

Simon Willison
http://simon.incutio.com/
Received on Thursday, 28 August 2003 17:55:04 GMT

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