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Re: Doesn't validate online, but pasted View Source does

From: Jukka K. Korpela <jkorpela@cs.tut.fi>
Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2007 14:50:57 +0200
Message-ID: <018101c83d86$d2fdf5b0$0500000a@DOCENDO>
To: <mark@markrae.co.uk>, <www-validator@w3.org>

Mark Rae wrote:

> Can anyone please tell me why the following site:
> http://www.contracting-online.com doesn't validate 100%

It validates. Did you do something special when you tried? Like some 
special settings in the interface.

The validated document is, however, quite different from what you expect 
to see in a browser. You can see this if you check the "Show Source" 
option.

> - it generates the "This Page Is Tentatively Valid XHTML 1.0 
> Transitional"
> and "No Character Encoding Found! Falling back to UTF-8" messages.

Nope. The validator uses UTF-8, since that's what the server says in an 
HTTP header.

> 1) if you do a View Source on the above site's home page, you'll see
> that the header contains the following:
> <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html;
> charset=ISO-8859-1" />

That's a different issue. The server probably sends different responses 
to different user agents. (For example, Google search robot probably 
gets essentially the same response as the validator.)

When I visit the address on IE 7, with scripting enabled (even though I 
know that the claim about JavaScript being safe is not true) and then 
click on the button that claims "W3C XHTML 1.0" conformance, then indeed 
I get the analysis you describe, but that's really for the page
http://www.contracting-online.com/home/default.aspx
and that page, as served to the validator, does _not_ contain a <meta> 
tag specifying the encoding. Check "Show Source" and then "Revalidate", 
and you'll see a surprise.

The problem is probably that the site _heavily_ relies on both 
client-side scripting and cookies and does not really work at all 
without them. As one minor symptom, you cannot validate the real pages 
(those that you want users to see) in a direct way. But if you copy and 
paste, things are quite different.

Jukka K. Korpela ("Yucca")
http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/ 
Received on Thursday, 13 December 2007 12:52:51 GMT

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