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

RE: MarkUp Validation Service Problem

From: Denis Boudreau [ CYBERcodeur.net ] <denis@cybercodeur.net>
Date: Tue, 27 May 2003 09:08:12 -0400
To: <www-validator@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000901c32451$07644ab0$9b09fe40@denisoxce8yqnh>



> -----Original Message-----
> From: www-validator-request@w3.org
> [mailto:www-validator-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Ville Skyttä
> Sent: 27 mai, 2003 03:42
> To: www-validator@w3.org
> Subject: RE: MarkUp Validation Service Problem
> 
> 
> 
> On Tue, 2003-05-27 at 03:36, Denis Boudreau [ CYBERcodeur.net ] wrote:
> 
> > Again, why should an author want to understand ? I don't need to
> > understand how a phone works to use it like a pro.
> 
> IMHO, in these comparisons, one should pay attention to the
> concepts of "author" and "user".  It's not quite fair to 
> compare "using" a car or a phone to "authoring" a *ML 
> document.  I'm not convinced that comparing *ML to them is 
> very useful in the first place, but that's irrelevant here.
> 
> The average "user" of your documents would be someone
> browsing the web and reading them.  Likewise, the "author" a 
> car or a phone would be the manufacturer.
> 
> If your car or phone wouldn't be built according to standards
> or be interoperable (think gas stations, GSM networks, safety 
> standards etc), I bet you wouldn't find that generally acceptable.

While i would tend to agree with you on the bases of what you're saying,
I think your argument doesn't hold in this case. True, one has to pay
attention to the concepts of users and authors, but in this case,
they're just words, for the sake of naming things, not words used as
specific definers like manufacturers or users, which would be specific
and precise. 

I find it perfectly fair to compare driving a car, using a phone or
writing an html document. In all cases, it is someone using something
that was made for end users ; car, phone, html language. So for the sake
of comparison, it is perfectly relevant... if you understand the point
i'm trying to make.

While we could classify the author of car and phone as being the
manufacturers as opposed to the users of car and phone which would be
the people using them on a daily basis, the same holds true for html.
Except in this case, the term author is generally used for the end user
who writes html documents. In this particualr case, author would design
end user, not manufacturer. W3C would design manufacturer. But let's
drop all the comparison and go directly with the source.

All the same, we have a greater authority that defines what html should
be and these are the people that really need to understand what a DTD
is... The author (the end user, the coder, the designer, give him
whichever name you will), which, in 9 cases out of 10 will be using a
wysiwyg editor, really has no need to understand the underlying aspects
of Web development. That doesn't mean he should write non-valid code.
All i ask of him is to be conscious about the importance of validation
because it opens the door to a better Web *by itself*. Let's leave the
other questions to purists who feel the mechanics (DTD) of the mechanic
(HTML) is important. The poor author already have enough on his mind as
it is.

Again, this is not people like you or I. This is the majority of users,
not the super-users if we must give them a hierarchy.

I totally agree with you that standards are important. In fact, they're
not important, they're crucial. Without them, there would be no real
Web, only a bunch of documents linked together, condemned to never being
anything else. With standards we have a sense of direction, a purpose
like Agent Smith would tell you. Of course, as far as i'm concerned it
would be unnacceptable weren't it of standards. I wouldn't even be in
this anymore if it weren't for them. But it's up to us, the people that
have more than just a vague idea of what the Web is to deal with that.
Our mothers should never have to wonder what a DTD is. They could if
they wanted, but they never should. Which is why it is so important to
have companies like macromedia put their act together and (thanks to the
WaSP), take their overly popular dreamWeaver and make it standard
compliant by itself. Because my mother should only be concerned with
authoring her documents about her grandson and her cat. And so should
yours :)

Now i'm not talking about semantics, because that's another topic
completely. We're far from being there yet, but asking the end user to
respect semantics is totally unthinkable and will never be as long as
wysiwyg editors can't do that themselves -- ojnly then will we be able
to hope to get them to understand it. I'm not talking about FrontPage or
GoLive either which *should* definitely look in macromedia's direction
and get inspired from what is being done with the MX family of products.
I'm only talking about one user and it's desire to be part of the Web
community, to write his own personnal page or do his job as a Web
designer.

One doesn't have to know what a DTD is of how it works to be required to
validate his documents. Validation should *NOT* be the resort of the
"elite". That was the point on which i jumped yesterday, and that's all
i'm really saying. Everything else is an illusion.

Denis Boudreau
CYBERcodeur.net
Received on Tuesday, 27 May 2003 09:09:55 GMT

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