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

Request for suggested validation tools on the market.

From: Melody Chamlee <melody.chamlee@mac.com>
Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2007 21:12:01 -0400
Message-Id: <7C44D0F1-A74B-4A1C-8532-F68B65F96B98@mac.com>
To: www-validator@w3.org

On Mar 19, 2007, at 8:42 AM, Drake Wilson wrote:
> Better yet,
> fuzzy-match nonexistent tag and attribute names against the DTD, and
> display possible corrections, similar to how spelling checkers
> fuzzy-match against dictionaries.  If the names match in everything
> except case, and the dialect in use is case-sensitive, display a note
> to that effect for that suggestion.

That's a great idea.  To further that direction I can see a version  
of the Validator evolving into a software application.  Perhaps  
reference pointers would become integrated into the code, instead of  
only in a line by line assessment.   Has anyone written a good  
software application that validates at this level?  Sort of a spell- 
check metaphor for validation?  Dreamweaver will pop up a proposed  
tag as you're first typing, and Home Site will give you a line by  
line analysis.  But to actually have the edits overlaid on top of the  
code could prove a very useful learning tool.

> read the error message

True.  Personally I look at the missed-obvious as a sign that there  
is a barrier to entry somewhere.   What is it they're missing?  This  
is more of a marketing question, but it's still apt to ask.  As an  
education tool the W3C validator will always be a magnet to first- 
time editor users.

Out of that group of first time users, I'd guess 70% get stopped  
cold.  Most will immediately flip the Dreamweaver tab back to  
"design" view and never think about validation again.

Out of that stunned 30% remaining (they're still scrolling, hopping  
to find an "only kidding" near the end), maybe half will be able to  
understand and follow the rules they've broken.   That was my very  
first experience with the validator, and is how I remember now what  
might trip up a completely new user.

> people should be pointed in the direction of asking informed  
> questions rather
> than blind ones.


In order to sway more developers  to continue to try and validate  
their code, we're really sort of at their mercy not to walk away and  
find non-standard tricks around the set document type declarations.   
But we do want people to finish their coffee and make a serious  
effort and not abuse the list.  It's all about what level they're  
at.  The trick is inviting new developers to pick up validation while  
they're new, instead of having to unlearn quick and familiar personal  
implementation hacks after they've gone overly-creative.

Validation is difficult for new users who are dependent on generated  
editor code.  But they're here because they understand their projects  
will be much easier in the future if they bother to learn now.  In  
that sense half the barrier to entry has already been crossed.

In other news, how about a good list of the current validation tools  
on the market?
Received on Wednesday, 21 March 2007 04:08:52 UTC

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