W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-validator@w3.org > August 2006

Re: [VE][108] more links from error page to explanative docs, please.

From: Frank Ellermann <nobody@xyzzy.claranet.de>
Date: Sun, 13 Aug 2006 20:48:57 +0200
To: www-validator@w3.org
Message-ID: <44DF7419.39B4@xyzzy.claranet.de>

Edward Welbourne wrote:

> I believe that an idiot's guide to DOCTYPEs, paying
> particular attention to "how do I decide which one to use ?"
> (a question which *should* be asked frequently, even if it
> isn't; I would still like to read such a document even having
> fixed the error), would be a constructive addition

Not exactly an "addition", because it already exists, you only
didn't find it directly from your situation.  The "Help + FAQ"
link goes to a page which claims to have a link "No DOCTYPE
Declaration Found".

That's a "broken" link for legacy browsers (= unnamed anchor),
the FAQ page needs some cleanup.  At the end of that section
you'd find links to "List of recommended Doctypes" and to
"Choosing a DOCTYPE".

The first document contains  again a "broken" link for legacy
browsers, but it's short enough to read it anyway.  It also has
a link to http://www.w3.org/QA/Tips/Doctype (that might show up
as "tip of the day" sometimes).  The "recommended list" is at:

It's unfortunately not the "complete" list of DTDs supported
by the validator, and the "complete" list would be incomplete,
last time I checked it it didn't know "HTML i18n" (RfC 2070).
"HTML i18n" already has "lang", I'm too lazy to check older
DTDs now, it's clear that you wanted HTML 4 and nothing older.

http://www.htmlhelp.com/tools/validator/doctype.html is the
"Choosing a DOCTYPE" page, not exactly the same as the list
of recommended doctypes, maybe better readable if you're not
interested in MathML or SVG.

> I got a tentative validation saying (inter alia):
>   ... the document would validate as HTML 4.01 Strict if you
> changed the markup to match the changes we have performed
> automatically

> at which point I'm just begging to know *what were those
> changes ?*

The change was to insert the chosen DOCTYPE into your page,
when you selected a "doctype" instead of using the default
"determine this automatically" (= as it is in the document).

Or if the document has a DOCTYPE and you select an override
manually the change is to remove the real DOCTYPE, and then
insert what you selected.

I can imagine one case where that might be very confusing, if
the real DOCTYPE and the manually selected DOCTYPE override
are the same, or rather supposed to be the same.

> I had to do a little research (and modify my .htaccess to
> specify a default encoding, since my pages are all ISO 8859
> Latin-1, and mostly pure ASCII).

Maybe you used a manual charset override, and not a DOCTYPE
override (?).  This "tentatively valid" blurb only means that
you added info using the validator's Web form, which probably
isn't available to other readers of your pages.

I don't get this Latin-1 detail, Latin-1 _is_ the default as
far as HTTP (any version) is concerned.  Saying so explicitly
for all your documents could backfire as soon as you offer a
page with another encoding (e.g. UTF-8 or windows-1252).

Received on Sunday, 13 August 2006 18:53:17 UTC

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