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

RE: Style tag not validated correctly for HTML 4.01

From: Jukka K. Korpela <jkorpela@cs.tut.fi>
Date: Fri, 31 Oct 2003 09:03:13 +0200 (EET)
To: www-validator@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.4.58.0310310850290.18216@korppi.cs.tut.fi>

On Thu, 30 Oct 2003, Nick Kew wrote:

> Why is it "better" to put in extra unproductive work, and use a
> nonstandard DTD, when the object of the exercise is to conform with
> a W3C DTD?

I don't know the objects of everyone's exercises, but here the announced
objective was to get more informative diagnostic messages. For that
purpose, a suitable DTD will help.

By the way, there is no such thing as a nonstandard DTD, except in the
loose sense of something that is meant to be a DTD but does not conform to
the applicable standard, namely the SGML standard.

> And how exactly is someone who is confused about whether <basefont>
> can go in <head> going to hack their own DTD?

That requires just basic understanding of SGML. Why would people use an
SGML validator if they lack a basic understanding of SGML _and_ are
unwilling to learn? Yeah, right. Because the W3C claims that you get an
interoperable Web page if you put your document thought a validator and
get a "pass".

Someone who is confused with a validator's error messages should check the
description of the syntax of the markup system (such as HTML) he is using.
For this purposes, prose descriptions can be used, such as the nice
material at http://www.htmlhelp.com/ (though unfortunately this volunteer
work has not been updated to HTML 4.01 level, but the differences are

> IMO it is my business
> as a tool developer to help users, not to put superfluous learning
> curves in their way.
> Noone forces you to select fussy mode.

The beta at http://validator.w3.org:8001/ _still_ has the fussy mode as
the default. It has now the explanation
"In this mode it will generate warnings about some things that are not
strictly forbidden in the HTML Recommendation - -"
First, that "are not strictly forbidden" is very odd. They are not
forbidden, period. Actually, they are definitely allowed. But worst of
all, the explanation says it will generate _warnings_. What the beta
actually does is that issues _error_ messages and claims "This page is not
Valid HTML 4.01 - -" for pages that are actually valid.

As far as I have understood, this cannot be fixed, due to the way the
"fussy" mode has been built into the beta. Does this ring a bell?

Jukka "Yucca" Korpela, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Received on Friday, 31 October 2003 02:03:15 UTC

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