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

Re: proper use of validation icons

From: Michael A. Peters <mpeters@mac.com>
Date: Sun, 07 Jun 2009 08:56:30 -0700
Message-id: <4A2BE32E.2000908@mac.com>
To: "Jukka K. Korpela" <jkorpela@cs.tut.fi>
Cc: www-validator@w3.org
Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
> Michael A. Peters wrote:
>> With xhtml I don't have to define a new dtd, I can use the W3C DTD and
>> just add the extra attlist stuff inside the DOCTYPE declaration node,
>> W3C validator validates it as xhtml 1.1 and says I can use the pretty
>> icons that demonstrate compliance. Everything is peachy.
> Despite what the validator says, the document is in fact not "valid 
> XHTML 1.1", to the extent that such an expression makes sense. The 
> document is valid (markup conforms to the DTD specified) but it does not 
> use a DTD specified in XHTML 1.1 specifications.

It does, just has some additions added to it - the X part of XHTML

>> Is there a problem using the HTML 4.01 icon with documents that
>> validate using the custom DTD, and if not, is there maybe a generic
>> icon to at least declare the document validates against it's declared
>> DTD ??
> There is always a problem in using those "pretty icons". They are worse 
> than useless, whether the document is valid or not and no matter what 
> the DTD is. For an explanation of this, check
> http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/html/validation.html#icon

I like pages with the icons on web pages because when there is a problem 
rendering, it allows me to quickly and easily see if the problem is a 
bug. Authors who display the icon clearly want to conform, so when they 
goof up (usually a bug in dynamic content generation) - it's worth my 
time to notify them. Authors that don't display, it's not worth my time.

I don't bother notifying content authors who don't display the badge 
because it seems nine times out of ten, I either get no response or a 
rude response. I've never gotten a rude response from someone who 
displays the badge, and most of the time I get a thank you and the issue 
is promptly fixed.

So displaying the badge serves a purpose there, I'm sure I'm not the 
only one with that philosophy about reporting errors.

Many years ago when I got my first computer that actually had net 
access, the way I found out about W3C and that my Pagemill 2.0 was not 
producing valid html was from a web site that had a badge on it.

I clicked on the badge and saw what it was, checked my page, and then 
learned how to fix my page.

So the buttons do in fact encourage good web design. I was clueless that 
a commercial web application from a mainstream vendor would produce 
rubbish. Nothing in the Pagemill document told me about producing valid 

So from personal experiences, the badges do in fact at least encourage 
better html authoring, though proper valid html obviously != good design.
Received on Sunday, 7 June 2009 15:57:09 UTC

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