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MarkUp Validator's new clothes

From: Bjoern Hoehrmann <derhoermi@gmx.net>
Date: Fri, 16 Apr 2004 12:11:34 +0200
To: www-validator@w3.org
Message-ID: <40819fda.100609298@smtp.bjoern.hoehrmann.de>

Hi,

  Improving the usability of the W3C MarkUp Validator includes
improvements for the layout; it would thus be great to get some
discussion on this matter and ideally see some proposals on how
it could be improved, so, here we go: compare the following

  [1] http://validator.w3.org:8001/check?uri=http://msdn.microsoft.com
  [2] http://tinyurl.com/262cj

The latter is a redirect to output from the XSLT service at

  [3] http://www.w3.org/2001/05/xslt

it transforms [1] using

  [4] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-archive/2004Apr/att-0075/vl.xslt_

My alternate format differs in the following ways:

  * it groups identical error messages, this helps to identify
    errors made throughout the document like the missing
    type attribute in

      <script language='Javascript'>

    or the illegal comment syntax in

      <!----------------->

  * it reintroduces the ^ marker which helps to spot certain
    errors

  * no right-hand navigation bar, I think it just distracts
    and takes space, Accessibility is certainly important,
    but I don't think that each and every validator page
    needs to link seven of them. The same applies to most of
    the links, a separate page, maybe even the homepage, is
    a better place for these.

  * the address of the validated page is not locked inside
    an <input> field but rather an active link to the page

  * it does not include the overly large and distracting

      THIS PAGE IS NOT VALID HTML 4.0 TRANSITIONAL!

    banner. I'd say it's not needed, the rest of the output
    is already sufficiently clear about whether the document
    validates or not.

  * it re-introduces <pre> for source fragments. There is
    a minor issue with pre as it might cause horizontal
    scrolling, but this is basically caused by including
    too much text on the right of the error location,
    we need more text on the left which my XSLT could not
    easily fix

  * it does not include page source. I am not sure whether
    it should. It's sometimes useful, sometimes not. It's 
    not what I intended to demonstrate...

  * it does not include the navigation elements on the top,
    it certainly should, but again, that's been out of scope

  * it does not include all this legal stuff in the footer,
    whether it must I do not know; I would not put it there

  * it looks much much better, IMHO, and the styles are cross-
    browser, the validator beta has issues with IE/Windows.

It is possible to further improve my alternate layout, for example
it could use scripting to hide the source code fragments and show
them on user request or the table could include the error count, etc.

How would you re-design the Validator?

Feel free to take my XSLT and modify it or just download validator
output, change what you like and get back to us!

regards.
Received on Friday, 16 April 2004 06:12:06 GMT

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