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Re: W3C Validator vs Schneegans

From: Terje Bless <link@pobox.com>
Date: Tue, 6 Sep 2005 09:01:48 +0200
To: www-validator@w3.org
Message-ID: <D0202000e-1042-17CC706814EB456BAE505E49A45F61A6@pounder.tj.unn.no>

Christoph Schneegans <Christoph@Schneegans.de> wrote:

>- It tells its users that it can check "HTML and XHTML (documents) for
>conformance to W3C Recommendations and other standards". This is at least
>misleading.

It's also a minor issue in the greater perspective. If this one of your top two
beefs with the Validator then we must be doing a pretty good job. :-)


>- It is unable to check XML well-formedness, but doesn't admit this.

To the best of my knowledge, XML well-formedness checking is a strict subset of
validation. Thus to claim the validator can't do well-formedness checking would
be to misrepresent the case.


>Instead, it uses the euphemism "some limitations". Web browsers today are
>able to find (almost all) well-formedness errors, the validator isn't!

Please report these to Bugzilla (including test cases) if they aren't documented
allready. What we can't fix today will be very usefull as test cases for the
future.


>Furthermore, it refers to <http://openjade.sourceforge.net/doc/xml.htm>.
>What do you think how many users know what "parameter separators" and
>"parameter literals" are?

If the validator is being obtuse, please file a bug and suggest improved text.


>You should also see the "translation" in
><http://esw.w3.org/topic/MarkupValidator/XML_Limitations>.

Argh! Would you believe some of those issues may actually be trivially fixable?


The Validator as it stands does have various limitations in its XML support.
Mostly in places where XML chose to diverge from SGML in ways I personally find
somewhat odd or needless, but there none the less.

The validator openly acknowledges these limitations, and does not harp on them
more only because it would confuse users more than it would help.

While some of them may be fixable with the current parser, the plan for
addressing these shortcomings long term is to make use of a specialized XML
processor. This requires some fairly big changes in the code — which is one
reason why it's taking so long — and is not without its own issues (determining
when to use the XML processor and when to use the SGML parser, for one).


-- 
I have lobbied for the update and improvement of SGML. I've done it for years.
I consider it the jewel for which XML is a setting.  It does deserve a bit of
polishing now and then.                                        -- Len Bullard
Received on Tuesday, 6 September 2005 07:01:53 GMT

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