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Re: [ANN] W3C Markup Validator 0.6.5 Beta #1

From: Terje Bless <link@pobox.com>
Date: Fri, 29 Aug 2003 14:10:57 +0200
To: "Philip TAYLOR [PC87S-O/XP]" <P.Taylor@Rhul.Ac.Uk>
Cc: W3C Validator <www-validator@w3.org>
Message-ID: <f02000101-1026-D94AEF9ADA1911D79CB50030657B83E8@[193.157.66.23]>

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Philip TAYLOR [PC87S-O/XP] <P.Taylor@Rhul.Ac.Uk> wrote:

>>>It's not just "complaining". It's claiming that a valid document is
>>>invalid. And this is apparently intentional. Hence, it does not even
>>>try to be a validator any more.
>>
>>That does not follow; neither from the argument nor from the observed
>>behaviour. 
>
>With respect, it /does/ follow : this is the primary diagnostic which
>results from validating Jukka's page (http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/)
>using http://validator.w3.org:8001/
>
>This page is not Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional!
>
>which is clearly a fallacious and extremely misleading statement.

Well, the degree can certainly be debated, but I'll grant that in essence you
are correct. However, it does not follow from the observed facts that «[The
W3C Markup Validator] does not even try to be a validator any more.»

In fact, this is patently untrue and demonstrably false.

It not only attempts this, I claim it _achieves_ this.

Anyone may challenge the details of the implementation — and there are areas
in which we, in minor ways, diverge from the proper behaviour from a SGML POV
— but to the best of my knowledge there are no areas where it substantially
diverges from its goal.

As I detailed earlier in the message you replied to, the new «fussy» behaviour
is an optional add-on and equivalent to letting the author of a page play
"What if?" without having to actually modify his original document.


It also, as it happens, does not follow from the argument presented.

The correct conclusion if you were to accept the argument at face value would
be «There is a bug or sub-optimal behaviour in this beta release.»  For a
third-party to make claims about what the validator does or does not «try to
be» is a rethorical device at best; and I'm sure Jukka would have phrased it
differently — if not necessarily any less critically — if given a chance to
consider the matter in a suitable context (as opposed to suddenly and
unexpectedly having the new version label his carefully crafted markup
«Invalid»).


- -- 
Ladies and gentlemen, you must resist those all-too-human feelings and decide
this case on the evidence.    And the evidence plainly shows that Mr. Landa's
injuries,   disfiguring as they are,  are nowhere near as important to a free
society as the fundamental right to make smart-ass remarks.   -- Katie @ AtAT

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Received on Friday, 29 August 2003 08:11:07 GMT

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