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Re: Suggestion for webmaster: show 'what & why' info

From: Jukka K. Korpela <jkorpela@cs.tut.fi>
Date: Tue, 6 Jan 2004 22:36:20 +0200 (EET)
To: www-validator@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.4.58.0401062230090.26013@korppi.cs.tut.fi>

On Tue, 6 Jan 2004, James Harvard wrote:

> I try to spread the word of standards-compliance by putting W3C
> 'validated' icons on my web sites,

Why? They are much worse than useless. They distract from the purpose and
content of the page. And they mislead wannabe Web authors into
thinking that validation guarantees that pages work. Moreover, they are
rapidly becoming the sign of _invalid_ markup - there is no real control
over this. More info:
http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/html/validation.html#icon

> but it occurs to me that a 'normal'
> visitor (such as a potential client) activating the link to
> validator.w3.org/check/referer would probably be none the wiser
> afterwards.

Well, he might learn that the page claims to be valid without being valid.
(Are you sure that no change will ever be made to the page without
immediately checking that the modified version is valid.) More probably,
he sees something that looks gibberish.

> To be honest, a link to a developer tool like the validator is really
> of no more use or interest to an average web user than say a link to the
> XHTML specifications!

Indeed. The same applies to users who are themselves web authors, or plan
to become authors.

> Can I suggest that you have some 'what & why' information at the top of
> the "valid" page?

Such things have been suggested, but they would not solve the problem that
the icons create. It would mean further distraction, since people might
start thinking the information is relevant to them. It isn't.
The current technojargon makes that clearer.

-- 
Jukka "Yucca" Korpela, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Received on Tuesday, 6 January 2004 15:40:00 GMT

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