W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-validator@w3.org > February 2009

Re: Add Subject Here

From: Melody Chamlee <developer@pobox.com>
Date: Sat, 21 Feb 2009 21:28:22 -0500
Cc: www-validator@w3.org
Message-Id: <15B0A66B-B136-43F9-89F1-AC4C11E9ACE4@pobox.com>
To: Rick Horvath <rick@noodleware.com>
Hi Richard,

It takes patience to go through the code of a large commercial  
website, usually line-by-line to untangle years of old code written by  
dozens or hundreds of people.  It's not easy, and there is often  
debate about whether a new attribute introduced by a new browser  
version is worth introducing to the standard.  Sometimes a flashy new  
gimmick would ultimately put pressure on other browser developers to  
invest time or money into updating their own applications to  
accommodate what is essentially a fluff change. This has a lot of  
negative developmental implications and is generally not used for the  
best of intentions.  The debate about a new attribute generally takes  
some time before a decision is made on whether a new attribute is a  
good idea or an attempt to further fragment browser support, and the  
conversation is slow and meticulous with good reason - otherwise the  
browsers with more money to spend would end up having all the say in  
how content is displayed, leaving developers as a whole at a  
disadvantage.  Often times new gimmicks will sell new users on  
features that aren't truly useful, secure, gracefully integrated  
previous standards, or encouraging of innovation.

The key to standards compliance is uniformity in rendering practices  
of browsers and predictability in display. The whole method of website  
development depends on the ability for a developer to program  
something once, and feel confident that the way it's programmed to  
look in one browser isn't going to cause it not to work in another  
browser simply because two companies can't agree.  It sounds like  
you're in agreement.

I also agree that ignoring some attributes is counterintuitive to the  
current development requirements of a commercial site, but I also see  
the value in attempting to phase out old tags in favor of those which  
are already part of the standard.  If those standardized attributes  
would only be adopted by presently non-standard browsers, a lot more  
of the fragmentation would consolidate.

All the browsers are getting much better about support, but it is  
admittedly not a huge request that common body tag attributes be  
abided by in new browser releases.  It's also a misnomer that any two  
browsers follow a "uniform non-standard" display design, as seen by  
the Acid2 Test (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acid2) where to this day,  
the same code will display to such an extreme difference between  
browsers that no alternate standard can exist.

There's also another angle to all of this - the separation of site  
style from site content.

In a way, much of the argument for applying new attributes in HTML is  
moot when you consider nearly everything you'd want to present as a  
display attribute is now much more easily developed and supported in  
the CSS.

I appreciate your frustration, but hang in there.  A much more elegant  
and time-saving approach awaits if you focus into CSS and let HTML  
remain the quaint little subset of XHTML that it has become.  Visit  
csszengarden.com for some great examples.

Melody Chamlee

On Feb 21, 2009, at 1:04 PM, Rick Horvath wrote:

> Hello,
> Most of your INVALID errors are incorrect, have been for years.  
> Other than possibly using the incorrect DOCTYPE , most of my coding  
> is correct, yet considered invalid. Why even Google and Yahoo show  
> errors according to your site. So what should we to be concerned  
> with as far as what errors you show us?
> How about establishing a more defined set of standards. Page  
> validation is all over the map just like search engine ranking  
> philosophy. After writing HTML for about 20 years lI think it's time  
> to make 1 set of valid tags, regardless of browser.
> For example:
> These are all valid according to IE, but not according to you. Even  
> though I'm a Firefox fanatic, I do care who my designs render in IE  
> and Safari, but there needs to be one set of standards that all  
> browsers can be happy with, once validation is completed.
> -- 
> Thank you,
> Rick Horvath
> Noodleware Software Co.
> office: 631-321-9776 M-Th 10-5 (closed Fridays)
> Offering a Full Line of Internet Services:
> Hosting, E-Commerce Solutions, Search Engine Promotion, Graphic  
> Design and more
> http://www.noodleware.com
> "Custom Designed Web Sites to fit any budget"
Received on Sunday, 22 February 2009 02:30:28 UTC

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