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

Re: [VE][338] Error Message Feedback

From: Jukka K. Korpela <jkorpela@cs.tut.fi>
Date: Tue, 31 Aug 2004 14:27:53 +0300 (EEST)
To: Tomasz Orczyk <tzok@poczta.onet.pl>
Cc: www-validator@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.4.58.0408311406440.6296@korppi.cs.tut.fi>

On Tue, 31 Aug 2004, Tomasz Orczyk wrote:

>     Your validator indicates this as an error "<a href="main.htm">=&gt;
> Strona glowna</a>". It "dislikes" &gt; code, but I don't find anything wrong
> with this, it's supposed to produce link "=> Strona glowna".

There's nothing wrong syntactically with that link (though, to sidestep a
bit, it would be better to put the arrow outside the link text and present
it as a graphic or as an arrow character rather than "Ascii art").

> My page is www.tzok.republika.pl

OK, this shows the problem. There is no DOCTYPE declaration. Hence,
technically, no validation is possible, since validation _means_ testing
against a document type definition.

However, the validator - trying to be helpful - tries to guess the
intended document type. This is where it goes a bit wild. It tells
  No DOCTYPE Found! Falling Back to HTML 4.01 Transitional
but later says
  Line 1, column 0: no document type declaration; will parse without
  validation
These are mutually contradictory, of course. And the latter describes what
the validator is actually doing. It only performs generic SGML parsing,
reading tags but not checking any nesting rules, acceptable attributes,
etc. This isn't quite consistent, though; it reports e.g.
  Line 1, column 41: "DEFER" is not a member of a group specified for any
  attribute
because such shorthand markup (which is technically short for
DEFER="DEFER" in this case) is permitted in special case only, depending
on how the possible values of attributes have been defined in the document
type definition. But the validator shouldn't really say a word about this
if it is really in "parse without validation" mode, since it does not
know what the document type definition is. On similar grounds,
  Line 2, column 5: document type does not allow element "HTML" here
means that the validator is secretly doing something else than it says.

The issue with &gt; is caused by "parse without validation" mode.
In SGML itself, no entities - including &gt; - are predefined.
They need to be defined in the document type definition (and they have
been defined in HTML DTDs).

So what you should _you_ do? Well, fix the syntax, starting from the
DOCTYPE declaration, as far as possible. But as a quick and dirty fix, you
can use the validator's Extented Interface
http://validator.w3.org/detailed.html
so that from the Doctype menu you select "HTML 4.01 Frameset".
There will still be error messages, but more understandable
(caused by the <script> element appearing before <html>
and some common frameset problems).

> (first 3 errors are not caused by me and I
> can't do anything to avoid them).

Well I hope _someone_ can. The Web server administration ("webmaster")
should be competent enough to understand and fix the error, once someone
tells about it.

-- 
Jukka "Yucca" Korpela, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Received on Tuesday, 31 August 2004 11:28:26 UTC

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