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

RE: Beta Validator usability suggestion

From: Denis Boudreau [ CYBERcodeur.net ] <denis@cybercodeur.net>
Date: Fri, 13 Jun 2003 15:23:21 -0400
To: "Holly Marie" <hollymarie@ameritech.net>, <denis@cybercodeur.net>, "Jeffrey Zeldman" <jeffrey@zeldman.com>, <www-validator@w3.org>
Cc: <asjo@koldfront.dk>, "Karl Dubost" <karl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <NFBBKIENDDEGDDKEEFGGCEKNDBAA.denis@cybercodeur.net>

>  -----Original Message-----
>  From: Holly Marie [mailto:hollymarie@ameritech.net]
>  Sent: June 13, 2003 3:11 PM
>  To: denis@cybercodeur.net; Jeffrey Zeldman; www-validator@w3.org
>  Cc: asjo@koldfront.dk; Karl Dubost
>  Subject: Re: Beta Validator usability suggestion

>> people I work with who've tried using the validators [...]
>> 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.

Well, this is something we now have as well in the beta version apparently.
It's a great improvement and it will definitely help making validation part
of the qa process of many more developers in the years to come.

>> 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
>> 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?

If I'm not mistaken I believe it was Eric Meyer who asked for that a couple
of weeks back on this very list.

> 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?]

I believe we could all benefit from clearer error messages. While we end up
knowing how to produce valid code, a gentler aid is never refused. I know
that if I could sometimes use more significant messages, I can only imagine
how a validator neophyte feels (actually I know exactly how as I painfully
remember my first few attempts at validating... not everyone is as stubborn
as I am. As a resulkt, most people just give up -- this has to become more
user-friendly for people to take up the habit :)

At least that's what I think... my 2 canadian cents, for all they're worth
nowadays :)

Denis Boudreau [ CYBERcodeur ]
CYBERcodeur.net - VDM - W3Qc - OpenWebGroup
Mail : denis@cybercodeur.net
ICQ : 115649885
WEB :  http://www.cybercodeur.net/
Received on Friday, 13 June 2003 15:23:37 UTC

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