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

Re: [VE][68] Error Message Feedback

From: Jukka K. Korpela <jkorpela@cs.tut.fi>
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2005 09:14:36 +0200 (EET)
To: www-validator@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.4.58.0501270905430.29991@korppi.cs.tut.fi>

On Wed, 26 Jan 2005, Ritchey Mulhollem wrote:

> Instead of just printing the incorrect code, how about printing a
> sample of correct code?

What would give as correct code? Remember that a markup validator just
checks for compliance with formalized syntax rules, and the syntax can be
anything that is describable in SGML or XML. The validator does some
heuristics based on knowledge about HTML DTDs and HTML as a whole, but his
already causes quite some confusion (in addition to some tangible
benefits).

> Most people learn from example and you don't
> have that here.

I think the validator's pages should explicitly and emphatically say
that it is _not_ a learning tool and perhaps point to some useful learning
resources, and leave it at that. "Tips of the day" already confuse people
since they think the tip somehow relates to their own document (and this
might actually be true by coincidence, and the relationship might be
really misleading).

> How about making a link that links directly to the where the correct
> usage is defined.

What would define the correct usage? As far as validation is concerned,
the DTD, which is something that the user of the validator specifies.
He might need to learn to read a DTD, or he might need a tutorialish
document that explains the rules in the DTD in prose. But that's something
that can, and should, be offered independently of markup validators.

-- 
Jukka "Yucca" Korpela, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Received on Thursday, 27 January 2005 07:15:09 GMT

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