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Re: Fussy mode (Was Re: [ANN] W3C Markup Validator 0.6.5 Beta #1)

From: Bjoern Hoehrmann <derhoermi@gmx.net>
Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2003 04:21:56 +0200
To: Olivier Thereaux <ot@w3.org>
Cc: www-validator@w3.org
Message-ID: <3f814050.45579319@smtp.bjoern.hoehrmann.de>

* Olivier Thereaux wrote:
>On Thursday, Aug 28, 2003, at 13:08 America/Montreal, Jim Ley wrote:
>> change the beta validator to not be in fussy mode and you'll see it
>> says it's valid, and it indeed it is.
>The Fussy mode could indeed benefit from a different wording than 
>"valid"/"not valid". Suggestions welcome, I think Jim suggested - on 
>the #validator IRC channel - "good" and "not good" for example.

I disagree that there should be a term at all. The validator is supposed
to tell whether a document meets the requirements applying to it and why
if it does not.

The W3C MarkUp Validator shall not continue to invent terminology to
indicate whether these or other requirements have been met. After all,
there is no explicit definition of terms like "Valid HTML 4.01 Strict"
and this is already confusing validator users as they thus believe a
document can be "Valid HTML 4.01 Strict" while not conforming to the
HTML 4.01 specification. If the document does not conform to that
specification, it ain't a HTML 4.01 document and thus certainly ain't
a valid HTML 4.01 document!

Introducing the terms "good" and "not good" based on this "fussy mode"
causes nothing but additional confusion as people would think a document
can be valid and conforming but "not good" and of course valid and not
good and not conforming and valid and good and conforming but
"semantically incorrect"; and some day we get documents which are DTD
valid, but Schematron invalid, but W3C XML Schema valid but not good but
conforming but not strictly conforming but semantically correct but only
for the simple subset of the mobile profile if the moon is full and
seven birds cross the sky at midnight...

In my ongoing message report system renewal for HTML Tidy I have three
classes of document quality indicators

  * Error   -- violates specification
  * Warning -- most likely a serious problem or bad markup
  * Hint    -- you can improve your markup doing ...

That's easy to adopt, just say

  Warning: Missing encoding information, using iso-8859-1
  Error: Missing document type declaration, using HTML 4.01 Transitional
  Error: Missing title element
  Error: missing attribute 'alt' for element 'img'
  Warning: unescaped & which should be written as &amp;
  Warning: unclosed start tag for element 'div'

and make the messages links to an error summary at the end of the
document. But do not give documents a different status, especially, do
not link this odd fussy mode to "not good" documents.
Received on Saturday, 30 August 2003 22:22:53 UTC

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