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Re: "Unable to Determine Parse Mode" warning given when inappropriate

From: Eugene Reimer <ereimer@shaw.ca>
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2008 00:35:55 -0500
To: olivier Thereaux <ot@w3.org>
Cc: www-validator@w3.org
Message-id: <47EC83BB.1000000@shaw.ca>

olivier Thereaux wrote, On 2008-03-27 13:37:

> You're using a custom DTD. The validator says "hey! I'm not sure if  
> this is SGML or XML, but I'll try with SGML anyway" and succeeds.  
> There is a *warning* (not an error, a *warning*) that tells you about  
> this unusual case.
>
> I don't think that's a good idea. This warning can be very useful for  
> people who may have made a typo in "writing down" their doctype, and  
> these are, AFAIK, more frequent and more clueless than people 
> crafting  their custom DTD but not complaining about subsequent warning.
>
> Some days I wonder if it wouldn't be better if this validator didn't  
> support custom DTDs at all. Those who want to use their own DTDs can  
> use their prefered validating parser, which really doesn't do much  
> less than the online validator in this case.


For my own use of your validator there is no problem.  However I'm about 
to add instructions to the "how to use my free shopping-cart" 
documentation (http://ereimer.net/nopercart.htm) showing people how they 
can validate their pages which use this shopping-cart.  The people using 
this cart are typically fairly clueless.  A few know just barely enough 
about HTML to realize that a validator might be useful, but have no idea 
what a DTD might be, what SGML is, etc.  I would dearly like to find 
some way to prevent such a person being presented with a message that 
sounds unintelligible and therefore ominous.

Note that such a person has not written a custom DTD, he/she is merely 
following instructions on how to validate using one.
Received on Friday, 28 March 2008 05:36:43 GMT

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