W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-validator@w3.org > August 2005

Re: Relaxed - new HTML validation service based on RELAX NG + Schematron

From: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>
Date: Sun, 28 Aug 2005 23:20:35 +0300
Message-Id: <0571fd95d45362db8dc72f7a253ec691@iki.fi>
Cc: www-validator@w3.org
To: Terje Bless <link@pobox.com>

On Aug 28, 2005, at 14:44, Terje Bless wrote:

> Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi> wrote:
>
>> I think dispatching on heuristics is a problem with the current W3C
>> validator.
>
> How so?

Choosing the rules based on what the document itself contains is, IMO,  
not as useful as letting the user pick the rules to test against. If  
FooML 1.0 is required, is it useful if a document is heuristically  
determined to purport to be BarML 2.0 and then proclaimed valid (valid  
BarML 2.0, that is)?

> While we do dispatch based on the document type name when better  
> information is
> not available, we do so supported by normative specification and with  
> clearly
> identified results.

http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=http://bednarz.nl/trivia/namecase/ 
evidence.html&ss=1

> That certain rogue groups have elected to deliberately sabotage  
> established
> international standards — by introducing an absolute dependance on  
> heuristic
> processing of web documents in conflict with this standard — can  
> hardly be
> blamed on the validator.

Are you referring to the infamous Appendix C of XHTML 1.0?

>> It emphasizes validity as an internal property of a document
>> instead of validation as a quality assurance tool.
>
> Heuristic behaviour would be “Hmm. Let me see… What does this document  
> look like
> it's trying to be?” Validity _is_ an internal property of a document;  
> it
> wouldn't make much sense to treat it otherwise.

DTD validity is indeed an internal property of the document. RELAX NG  
validity and Schematron validity is not. RELAX NG validity is relevant  
to new versions of SVG. Also, I think RELAX NG validity and Schematron  
validity are more useful concepts in a quality assurance process than  
DTD validity, because it should be the person assessing the quality who  
chooses the rules to check against.

> And for lack of normative schemas to check the things DTD-based  
> validation
> cannot catch

Non-normative schemas can be more useful from a quality assurance point  
of view than normative DTDs.

>> I think it would be more useful to be able to as "Is this document  
>> SVG 1.2?"
>> than being able to just ask "Is this document valid whatever it is?"
>
> First, inserting the relevant DOCTYPE Declaration and submitting the  
> resulting
> document to the validator is asserting that it is “SVG 1.2” and asking  
> the
> validator to confirm or dispute this assertion.

With RELAX NG and Schematron, you do not need to insert anything in the  
document to test adherence to a particular schema.

> If you're not authoring in “SVG
> 1.2” but rather in “WHATever”, you have bigger issues than validation.

There are cases where the work of WHAT WG is better applicable than SVG.

-- 
Henri Sivonen
hsivonen@iki.fi
http://hsivonen.iki.fi/
Received on Sunday, 28 August 2005 20:20:57 GMT

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