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

Re: Beta Validator usability suggestion

From: Holly Marie <hollymarie@ameritech.net>
Date: Fri, 13 Jun 2003 14:11:11 -0500
Message-ID: <010e01c331df$8db715c0$9f02a8c0@holly>
To: <denis@cybercodeur.net>, "Jeffrey Zeldman" <jeffrey@zeldman.com>, <www-validator@w3.org>
Cc: <asjo@koldfront.dk>, "Karl Dubost" <karl@w3.org>

From: "Denis Boudreau [ CYBERcodeur.net ]"
> >  From: www-validator-request@w3.org
> >  [mailto:www-validator-request@w3.org]On Behalf Of Jeffrey Zeldman
> >  Sent: June 13, 2003 1:07 PM
> >  To: www-validator@w3.org
> >  Cc: asjo@koldfront.dk; Karl Dubost
> >  Subject: Beta Validator usability suggestion
> >  Wouldn't it be helpful if the validation service itself explained
> >  error clearly, using the language of the FAQ? Or using some of the
> >  language of the FAQ and linking to the complete explanation on the
> >  FAQ page?
> >  Clearer, more user-friendly error messages might help users
> >  understand and fix errors instead of scratching their heads and
> >  possibly giving up. This in turn might lead to more sites that
> >  comply with W3C recommendations. It might also help designers and
> >  developers feel that the W3C was speaking their language. And the
> >  best part is, it's just replacing one stream of ASCII with another.
> Hello list,
> While we're on the subject, it has come to my attention that many
people I
> work with who've tried using the validators after I've finally managed
> persuade them had such a bad experience with it they simply decided
not to
> bother with it and went on with their merry non-compliant lives.

This is not a new problem, though it has gotten better than it was 4
years ago. I usually refer those that have trouble with the W3C
validator over to the WDG validator at
http://www.htmlhelp.com/tools/validator/  -- They can get a validation
and check, and information when needed, even if they do not have a
doctype present.

> As Jeffrey is saying, user-friendly messages would greatly help those
of us
> who try to push code validation into their neighboor's working habits.
> truly hope you will take the opportunity we have with this new version
> make this experience a little more pleasant and less frightening fir
> average user. There are a few improvement that have already been made,
> particularily with the error message for the missing doctype
(fallback), but
> there's still much to do to make using these tools a positive,
> experience for the web authors who want to learn using web standards.

I wish I knew where I saw a reply on this topic or idea of making the
W3C information more user friendly ... somewhere in the w3 c mailing
list groups? The reply or message indicated that the material,
information, tools or site were for developmental types and worded as
such. Though, I have noticed some changes over the recent years and
believe there is still room for improvement with the validator. Some of
the messages *error -- was expecting a ... or a ... here*, when it
really might mean... sorry, you cannot have an inline element in the
open, must be contained in a block line set ... p, div, etc.  [This may
happen on form elements no longer inside tables where people may be
moving away from tables and using CSS, and xhtml? or html strict?]


[A year or two ago *ERROR X* still has me smiling today, I had *No* idea
what that meant, but it has been fixed]
Received on Friday, 13 June 2003 15:16:41 UTC

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