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Suggestion for Outreach Efforts (was: validating JavaScript)

From: Terje Bless <link@pobox.com>
Date: Fri, 4 Jul 2003 20:43:29 +0200
To: W3C Validator <www-validator@w3.org>
Message-ID: <r02000000-1026-680574E8AE4F11D794590030657B83E8@[193.157.66.23]>

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Jake Brumby <jake.brumby@fresca.co.uk> wrote:

>I recently put in a lot of effort to develop a website only to have to
>include some JavaScript supplied by Akamai for tracking users that the
>Validator finds 17 different errors in.

BTW, this kind of thing is an excellent candidate for outreach efforts. If you
run across a program such as the Akamai one mentioned here, that requires
inclusion of invalid code, contacting the relevant vendor and working with
them to attempt to find a valid way to achieve the desired effect will, if
sucessfull, make it much easier for all the users of that service to produce
valid markup.

If you do not have the requisite expertise to find an alternative
implementation that is both valid and achieves the desired result (e.g. I am
utterly clueless where JavaScript is concerned), I'm sure someone on this list
will be able to help. Please feel free to bring such cases to the attention of
this list; including refering the vendor in question to this list with any
questions they may have.

I'm sure we'd all also love to hear about any cases where you've successfully
persuaded a vendor to switch to (or at least allow) valid markup. :-)


Keep in mind that one should always attempt to be polite and never attribute
the invalid code to malice or stupidity. The vendor in question is very likely
to simply have different goals in mind and are perfectly willing to make
changes if they percieve an actual benefit to doing so. If they politely
disagree, for whatever reason, flaming or harsh words will only serve to
permanently sever the bridge and preclude any future attempt to remedy the
situation.

IOW, "Be Nice!" :-)


PS. Other great ways to improve the percentage of valid sites on the web is to
target web page templates (in a CMS, say) so that the users of those templates
get valid markup to start with; as well as "adopting" an Open Source project
(or other project run completely or partially by volunteer efforts) and
helping them make their pages valid.

Companies are highly unlikely to let you mess with their web pages -- and,
sadly, little inclined to listen to suggestions about them (altruism beeing a
fairly incomprehensible motivation for most companies) -- but projects such as
Open Source, Community Driven, or Shareware/Freeware -- with very scarce
resources -- are much more likely to be amenable to either suggestions or help
with improvements.

Quite apart from the direct benefits of making the pages in question valid,
this helps raise awareness of the issues and demonstrates that it is possible
to make pages that look and work well while also beeing valid.

- -- 
Interviewer: "In what language do you write your algorithms?"
    Abigail: English.
Interviewer: "What would you do if, say, Telnet didn't work?"
    Abigail: Look at the error message.

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Received on Friday, 4 July 2003 14:43:43 GMT

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