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Re: [VE][libxml2-5] Confusing error when validating

From: Jukka K. Korpela <jkorpela@cs.tut.fi>
Date: Mon, 8 Mar 2010 16:44:25 +0200
Message-ID: <6129513630124EB1B4504DDB8252716C@JukanPC>
To: <www-validator@w3.org>
Cc: <dlavelle@notes.cc.sunysb.edu>
Dag-Erling Smørgrav wrote:

> dlavelle@notes.cc.sunysb.edu writes:
>> Validating the following fails.  Is that correct?
>
> I don't understand why you're asking, since...
>
>>             <option
>> value="mercedes"selected='selected'>Mercedes</option> <!-- put a
>> space between {value="mercedes"} and {selected='selected'} to remove
>> the error: Error  Line 15: Extra content at the end of the
>> document.-->
>
> ...clearly you know the answer.

Apparently he (or whoever wrote the markup) knows how to fix the markup, but 
judging from the start of the message and the Subject line, he
1) was not sure whether it's really an error to write attribute 
specifications without whitespace between them
2) wonders why the error message says "Extra content at the end of the 
document" and refers to the line containing the end tag </html>, instead of 
giving any hint of the actual error.

Checking back some past discussions, I'd respond:
1) It is an error in XHTML. It is not an error in HTML (though it isn't 
recommendable).
2) The validator used to fail to detect this error at all when processing 
XHTML, though the W3C CSS Validator (!) detected it. It seems that it now 
detects the problem, which is an improvement, but fails to report it 
properly.

It is an improvement even in the practical sense, for those who use XHTML 
for a good reason, e.g. because they process their documents using 
non-browser software that needs its input to be well-formed XML. Markup 
errors that mean nothing to tag slurpers (browsers) _may_ cause unexpected 
results in processing based on the assumption of XML well-formedness. Of 
course, to the great majority of authors who use XHTML just because they 
have been misled into thinking it's cool, the error message is just 
confusing.

-- 
Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/ 
Received on Monday, 8 March 2010 14:45:27 GMT

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