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Re: HTML5 Validator doesn't appear to understand colspan

From: Pat MacMannis <pat.macmannis@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 29 Dec 2011 10:51:54 -0500
Message-ID: <CADOpHrhwkGq2CN_RZarzm7R-0Sk521TnMLgo8m0c+3OsuOVDbQ@mail.gmail.com>
To: www-validator@w3.org
This is in reply to the "Re: HTML5 Validator doesn't appear to
understand colspan" thread, but the error generated the [VE][html5]
prefix to the subject. I apologize if this reply was done improperly.

Give Some Context:
The validator gives a very vague error description when the following
basic HTML5 page is uploaded:

############################
<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
    <title>Test</title>
    <meta charset='UTF-8' />
</head>
<body>
    <table>
        <tr>
            <td colspan='1'><!-- CONTENT --></td>
            <td colspan='3'>
                <!--    This Line Creates a Validation Error:
                        "Table columns in range 3...4 established by
element td have no cells beginning in them."
                -->
            </td>
        </tr>
        <tr>
            <td colspan='4'><!-- CONTENT --></td>
        </tr>
    </table>
</body>
</html>
############################

The error message, "Table columns in range 3...4 established by
element td have no cells beginning in them" does little to clearly
help determine what exactly is failing. The example above is a simple
page designed to throw the error. The problem originally came when
dynamically generating the page with variable columns.

What Is Your Feedback?:
The error message needs expanded upon. The error seems to have been
thrown because the validator does not allow for the colspan attribute
to be used in the first row (unless colspan='1' is used). This does
not seem to be clearly defined within the HTML5 documentation (that I
could find). I am suggesting that the error message be expanded to
include a more detailed explanation of why it failed. For example,
"You have received this error because you have tried to combine column
cells in the first row of a table." Additionally, a suggestion could
be made such as, "Avoid using the colspan attribute in the first row
of the table."

In conclusion, I suggest the error message thrown by the above code be
reworded as follows (or some variation of it):
"Table columns in range 3...4 established by element td have no cells
beginning in them. You have received this error because you have tried
to combine column cells in the first row of a table. Avoid using the
colspan attribute in the first row of the table."

Thank you for your help and time.
- Pat
Received on Thursday, 29 December 2011 22:03:11 GMT

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