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

Re: proper use of validation icons

From: Jukka K. Korpela <jkorpela@cs.tut.fi>
Date: Sun, 7 Jun 2009 19:38:57 +0300
Message-ID: <2AC66F37EBF345B2A47386FBA311E7FF@JukanPC>
To: "Michael A. Peters" <mpeters@mac.com>
Cc: <www-validator@w3.org>
Michael A. Peters wrote:

>> 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

No, you either use the specific DTD or you don't. If you don't, you might 
still call your markup XHTML (or HTML or XML or whatever you like), but it 
isn't XHTML 1.1. The "X" in "XHTML" is just hype, though technically it 
means that the syntax is based on XML, the strongly simplified version of 
SGML. HTML is just as extensible as XHTML is.

> 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.

How many of your _visitors_ are interested in debugging your pages? And do 
you mean that the icon that _claims_ the markup to be valid is useful for 
_checking_ whether it is? There's something odd in that idea, but the fact 
is that many of the "Valid HTML" icons make a false claim, often an 
intentionally false claim (that is, a lie). That's one of the reasons why 
they should be used: people have no grounds for trusting on them.

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

What about the 99 % of surfers who have no intention of reporting markup 
errors?

And I thought the idea was that an author who adds a "Valid HTML" icon has 
himself taken care of validation. If the icon is meant to say "I want to use 
valid markup, please help me with that!", then it should really say that and 
not something rather opposite.

Maybe the change of a single character could do that. "Valid HTML?" might 
convey the message, but it would not make any sense to the majority of 
users. After all, people who use the Web should not need to know _anything_ 
about HTML, any more than a newspaper reader should need to know about the 
software and data formats used to produce the paper.

-- 
Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/ 
Received on Sunday, 7 June 2009 16:41:27 GMT

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