W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-validator@w3.org > July 2007

Validators and W3C resources (Was: Markup Validation Service)

From: olivier Thereaux <ot@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 31 Jul 2007 12:17:39 +0900
Message-Id: <4487889E-2DD4-445A-B0D3-4D9A452BF429@w3.org>
Cc: kokkaaja@elisanet.fi
To: www-validator Community <www-validator@w3.org>

Dear Torolf, dear all

On Jul 28, 2007, at 23:01 , kokkaaja@elisanet.fi wrote:
> I use your wonderful service every day but since you have renewed  
> your site it has become unbelievable slow!

Indeed. Although the new version is actually faster (albeit with a  
larger resource footprint), is seems that there is an influx of  
people wanting to (re)test their pages with the new version, and the  
servers which w3c uses to offer this service tend to be overloaded at  
some times of the day.

We've been tweaking the code and server setup to make things better,  
and will keep working hard to ensure good quality of service.

> And, when time is money, this is bad.
> So, if you have resources for it, please speed up your site and  
> service!

I agree with you... This is not a good situation.
Let's state a few facts, and see how we can improve the situation.

1) The service at validator.w3.org is provided by the W3C free of  
charge, and is a resource shared by a great number of people (with  
good behavior expected from all).

2) The service is offered by W3C because, as an organization, we  
think that the web can benefit from free quality checking tools.

3) Our validation services are not W3C's main activity. W3C is, first  
and foremost, an industrial consortium where companies pay (not a lot  
- never believe anyone who says that W3C is extremely rich, they are  
either trying to gain power by taking cheap shots at the "father  
figure", misunderstanding how w3c works, or both) to come to a round  
table for standardization of web technologies.

4) The validator(s) are extremely costly. Thanks to its open source  
model, and thanks to the great help from volunteers, developers,  
users, the HR cost is limited, but the infrastructure cost is heavy,  
because the traffic is absolutely massive. Think millions of hits a  
day, think huge bandwidth, 4 dedicated servers (3 for  
validator.w3.org, 1, soon 2, for the CSS validator). And remember:  
all provided free of charge. No ads, etc.


Given all the above facts, what can be done to ensure that everyone  
can benefit from the free service, in a fast and useful way?

* Give a hand with the coding. If you have the skills to make the  
validator faster and better, you'll make everyone's life better, and  
will get credit for it. Start here: http://validator.w3.org/docs/ 
#docs_experts - or here: http://validator.w3.org/feedback.html

* Make sure no-one is abusing the service, at the expense of others.  
This is already what we are doing - reluctantly blocking people who  
send "too many" requests per minute.

* Throw in more servers. We're looking into that, but budget is tight  
(see above). If you really care about the service and have a vested  
interest in it, there is a link at the bottom of the validator's  
pages to contribute to the W3C's supporters program.
http://www.w3.org/Consortium/supporters
Donations can be as small as you wish, and donations of 100$ or more  
will be acknowledged publicly. The supporters program is not used  
only for the validators, but if donators specifically mention that  
they care about the validation services, it will surely hold sway  
over how the funds are used. You can even donate a solid server  
(multi-processor rack server, with lots of memory. no used machine,  
please, these can be more trouble than they're worth - contact me  
directly if you are really interested in such a donation) or join  
forces to buy servers, which we can put to good use for the validator  
service.

* Download the validator and use it on your local network: the  
validator is free, open source and can be downloaded/installed by any  
serious sysadmin on a web server in an hour or two. Then you can have  
the validator, on your network, fast, and just for you.
http://validator.w3.org/docs/install.html


Regards,
-- 
olivier
Received on Tuesday, 31 July 2007 03:17:10 GMT

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