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

Re: [VE][108] Error Message Feedback

From: David Dorward <david@dorward.me.uk>
Date: Thu, 12 Aug 2004 22:36:57 +0100
To: Referring organization <max@springtimesoftware.com>
Cc: www-validator@w3.org
Message-Id: <1092346617.8846.6.camel@localhost>

On Thu, 2004-08-12 at 17:54, Referring organization wrote:
> The LEFTMARGIN and similar attributes of BODY are valid in many
> version of Internet Explorer.

No, they are supported by Internet Explorer. That doesn't mean they are
part of the standard you claim you are using by specifying a Doctype.

> To report them as invalid attributes under the doctype
> <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN">
> seems to me unduly restrictive.

If you think HTML 4.01 should be extended to support these additional
presentational attributes, then you should take it up with the HTML
working group, not with the validator team. Hint: HTML 4.01 is very
clearly moving away from presentation - which is the job of CSS - so I
wouldn't bother.

> For style sheets to work correctly in the area of margin and padding,
> "<body>" is incorrect. The correct HTML for cross-browser use is
> "<body leftmargin=0 marginwidth=0 topmargin=0 marginheight=0>".

I can't think of any graphical browser in common usage that doesn't
handle body { margin: 0; padding: 0; } sensibly.

> For validation to be useful, it must fit the real world, not be a
> punitive measure against manufacturers who ignore the standards.

The purpose of validation is to check conformance to the standards!

> Compare with English dictionaries, which validate against correct
> common usage

No. A spell check "validates" against a dictionary, and a dictionary is
built from a language.

HTML is _designed_ (which is an advantage). The specification defines
the language, not the other way around. This, in theory, stops one
browser introducing arbitrary extensions and causing authors to produce
documents which confuse other browsers (sometimes I wish Mr. Webster was
still alive so I could kill him).

> , not against an arbitrary standard.

The standard is not arbitrary, see above.

-- 
David Dorward       <http://blog.dorward.me.uk/>   <http://dorward.me.uk/>
Received on Friday, 13 August 2004 01:25:35 UTC

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