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

Re: [VE][73] Error Message Feedback

From: Jukka K. Korpela <jkorpela@cs.tut.fi>
Date: Mon, 7 Feb 2005 12:08:21 +0200 (EET)
To: "www-validator@w3.org" <www-validator@w3.org>
Cc: RomanSoftware@canarias.org
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.4.58.0502071159420.16624@korppi.cs.tut.fi>

On Mon, 7 Feb 2005, Jens Brueckmann wrote:

> On Sun, 06 Feb 2005 18:28:30 +0000, Manz Hernandez Martin
> <RomanSoftware@canarias.org> wrote:
> > I obtain this error with my code HTML:
> >
> > Line 5, column 6: end tag for "HEAD" which is not finished
> > </head>
> >
> > When the error is that I forget write <title></title> element.
> The HTML 4.01 Specification clearly states[1]:
>    |Every HTML document _must_ have a TITLE element in the HEAD section.
> Thus if you omit the TITLE element inside your HEAD element, the validator
> is right complaining about this missing element.
> You might want to consult "Quality Tips for Webmasters" about choosing
> good titles:
> http://www.w3.org/QA/Tips/good-titles
> Cheers,
> jens
> [1] http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/struct/global.html#edef-TITLE
> --
> Jens Brueckmann
> http://www.j-a-b.net/

I'm fullquoting this, since I'm Cc'ing it to the person who asked the
question - there's no reason to assume that he has subscribed to the
www-validator list. (This is a general problem with responses to the list.
I'm afraid that often the person who asked the question does not get a
reply, while people on the list can read what they already know. :-( )

And it seems to me that he understood the point (and got useful
information about the TITLE element missing) but suggested that
the message be modified to be easier to understand.

The problem is that the validator "knows", upon encountering the end of
HEAD, just that some required sub-element(s) is/are missing. It would need
extra coding to make it aware of the fact that only one such element is
missing and, moreover, what that element is. The validator works on the
basis of SGML (or XML) in general, basically with no specific information
about HTML (or XHTML) in particular, though some ad hoc additions have
been thrown in.

This issue has been discussed on the list previously. As far as I've
understood, changing the message to something more informative
would require major changes to the way the validator internally works.
And being voluntary work, the validator is mostly frozen in its
basic structure (until some people perhaps get inspired and rewrite it,
but that sounds improbable).

Jukka "Yucca" Korpela, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Received on Monday, 7 February 2005 10:08:55 UTC

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