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Re: Errors

From: Jukka K. Korpela <jkorpela@cs.tut.fi>
Date: Sun, 27 Feb 2005 09:58:10 +0200 (EET)
To: Helyn Davenport <helyn@pixiport.com>
Cc: www-validator@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.4.58.0502270941370.26308@korppi.cs.tut.fi>

On Sat, 26 Feb 2005, Helyn Davenport wrote:

> I ran your test on my site www.pixiport.com page I have errors but do not
> understand what to do.

The basic problem is that the DOCTYPE declaration at the start of the page
claims that the markup used is HTML 3.2, which is the old specification
that was superseded by HTML 4.0 (and later HTML 4.01) long ago.

If you first try to validate the document so that the DOCTYPE has been
replaced by
<!DOCTYPE HTML SYSTEM "http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/html/tagsoup.dtd">
(which is a homebrew "tag soup HTML" or "HTML at large" syntax
description, see http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/html/own-dtd.html )
using the http://www.htmlhelp.com/tools/validator/ service - since
the W3C markup validator has some builtin limitations - you will get
two messages about apparently unintentional markup errors: there's
an ALT attribute in an A element (where it is not allowed and does not do
any good since no browser recognizes it - use the TITLE attribute instead)
and there is a missing ALT attribute in one IMG element.

After fixing those, you might proceed to using a HTML 4.01 Transitional
DOCTYPE (and now you can use the W3C validator) to see how the markup used
deviates from the published specification. It's a matter of nonstandard
browser-dependent attributes. What you do with them is your choice; the
validator can only compare the markup with a document type definition
and report the mismatches. In practice, you could replace the attributes
by the use of a style sheet relatively easily (though with the implication
that in some currently rare old browsers the page won't look exactly as
now, since they don't have good enough style sheet support). Regarding the
nonstandard attributes in <body> for example, you could use
body { margin: 0; padding: 0; }
in CSS, but for additional notes see
http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/www/margins.html

Next you might proceed to a HTML 4.01 Strict DOCTYPE. There you would find
some presentational attributes that have been removed from the Strict
version. It seems to me that it would be relatively easy to replace them
by style sheet rules as well. (The toughest part would probably be the
align="center" attribute in a <table> element; regarding that, see
http://theodorakis.net/tablecentertest.html ) On the other hand,
moving from Transitional to Strict is largely a matter of principle,
rather than something that has immediate practical benefits.

-- 
Jukka "Yucca" Korpela, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Received on Sunday, 27 February 2005 07:58:42 GMT

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