W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-validator@w3.org > April 2004

Re: Validator reporting just "Not valid"

From: Terje Bless <link@pobox.com>
Date: Thu, 22 Apr 2004 09:57:37 +0200
To: www-validator@w3.org
Message-ID: <b02010202-1033-B95CE529943211D88B730030657B83E8@[]>

Hash: SHA1

Jukka K. Korpela <jkorpela@cs.tut.fi> wrote:

>[…] It puzzles me why the the 1st level heading of a _report_ is "W3C
>MarkUp Validation Service", especially considering the hints on heading
>usage that the validator wants to give. […]

Yeah, I'm not entirely happy about that useage either; it gives me the
creeping feeling that the <h1> has null information content. :-(

Could you suggest an alternative that would let us keep the visual layout (or
an equivalent), still provide some semblance of structure, but avoids the
particular useage of the <h1>?

Keep in mind that the results page is conceptually a web page incorporating a
report, and not a report in the form of a web page (if I can make that

>It seems that the validator uses HTML.Version in its report, so if you
>create a customized DTD by editing an HTML 4.01 DTD, or another DTD in
>HTML specifications, remove the declaration of HTML.Version […].

BTW, this is partly for historical reasons and partly because I haven't found
an edible alternative yet. Any suggestions for a better source for this
information would be most welcome.

>It would naturally be better if the validator were fixed so that it does
>not use phrases like "Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional" but simply "valid".

It's a tradeoff. Just "Valid" would be more correct, but identifying the
commonly known "name" for the document type in question aids inexperienced
(and sometimes not so inexperienced ;D) authors determining what is going on.

>And it would be better if it reported errors in the DTD instead of
>saying that the document is not valid, when the validator has
>encountered a DTD error that makes it impossible to the validator to
>analyze _whether_ the document is valid or not.

Yes, I'm beginning to regret implementing the hack that supresses errors
detected in the external subset (or external entities). The details escape me
ATM, but this was done due to nonsense errors detected in some DTD(s) that
were (besides beeing incorrect and misleading) confusing for users.

We should probably reevaluate whether this is still an issue, and ideally deal
with it by making a separate DTD section at the start of the error listing in
the result page. Hiding _all_ error messages that do not refer to the specific
URL we were asked to process certainly seems overly broad.

- -- 
Interviewer: "In what language do you write your algorithms?"
    Abigail: English.
Interviewer: "What would you do if, say, Telnet didn't work?"
    Abigail: Look at the error message.

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Received on Thursday, 22 April 2004 03:58:54 UTC

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