W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-validator@w3.org > February 2011

Re: massive w3c bug?

From: Chris Beer <chris@e-beer.net.au>
Date: Tue, 08 Feb 2011 22:13:58 +1100
Message-ID: <4D512576.9090005@e-beer.net.au>
To: hans.grahn@bredband.net
CC: www-validator@w3.org, team-liaisons@w3.org, membership@w3.org, public-egov-ig@w3.org
Hello Hans

I'm not sure why you included the e-Gov IG group in your email, but 
happy to supply a response.

Quite simply, the reason the code as supplied checks as valid against 
HTML 4.01 Transitional, is that it is valid code according the 

That is not to say that the code as supplied will render without error 
or issue in a browser, only that it is technically correct.

To explain with some examples.

Line 8: <style type="text/csss"> - The specification states at 
http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/present/styles.html#h-14.2.3 that "Authors 
must supply a value for this attribute (type); there is no default value 
for this attribute." In other words - the validator is only going to 
check for the presence of a type attribute for style. It is not going to 
check whether or not that attribute, being author supplied, is actually 
real, correct or otherwise a valid MIME type. And nor should it - the 
list of valid MIME types is constantly being updated, and this, I would 
assume, would place a large amount of resource requirement on the W3 to 
keep the validator sychronised with the MIME type list administered by 
the IANA.

Lines 15 and 17 are likewise technically valid, as both possess a valid 
attribute. However while the content is those attributes are obviously 
incorrect, they are author supplied, and for all the validator knows, 
"greeeen" and "fffff" may well be the name of vendor or UA/browser 
specific colours. It will not presume. Only test.

Again at line 19 - There may well be a font called ariel - (in fact I 
bet someone has made a Disney font called Ariel) - the validator isn't 
checking for that.

Line 21 is interesting - the onclick event. 
http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/types.html#h-6.14 states that "User agents 
must not evaluate script data as HTML markup but instead must pass it on 
as data to a script engine." So my guess is that the validator again 
makes no presumptions. It notes the presence of the onclick event 
attribute, and notes that whatever is inside it doesn't need to be 
evaluated purposes of validation, since "HTML does not rely on a 
specific scripting language, document authors must explicitly tell user 
agents the language of each script. This may be done either through a 
default declaration or a local declaration" 
(http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/interact/scripts.html#h-18.2.2). Quite 
simply - it cannot presume that what you are telling it is actually 
correct or incorrect so it ignores it, and quite rightly so.

Line 23 is simply evaluated as undefined text on a page. There is 
nothing wrong with that.

And so on.

I hope this has been of some assistance - a careful reading of the 
specification will reveal that all of your examples are in fact 
technically valid, even if they won't parse with a user agent. Should 
you have further questions, please send them to www-validator@w3.org and 
not to public-egov-ig@w3.org - this list is not the appropriate forum 
for this type of question.

Kind regards

/*Chris Beer
*Invited Expert (Public Member) W3 eGovernment Interest Group & W3-WAI 
WCAG Working Group/

On 8/02/2011 7:21 PM, hans.grahn@bredband.net wrote:
> <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN" 
> "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/loose.dtd">
> <html>
> <head>
> <title>Untitled</title>
> <meta name="generator" content="CSE HTML Validator Professional 
> (http://www.htmlvalidator.com/)">
> <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">
> <style type="text/csss">
> p { color: black}
> </style>
> </head>
> <body bgcolor="fffff">
> <p style="color: greeen"></p>
> <p style="font-family: ariel, sans-serif"></p>
> <p onclick="function('string value);">test</p>
> img src="somepic.jpg">
> <img src="somepic.jpg" alt="description" width="50text">
> <a href="http://www.domain.com/images\image.jpg">...</a>
> <a href="htp://www.domain.com/">...</a>
> <a href="user@domain.com">user@domain.com</a>
> <a href="mailto:user@domain.comm">user@domain.com</a>
> <p>He said &quot;I'll be there!&quot</p>
> <a href="#chapter5">...</a>
> <a href="http://www.domain.com/" target="_new">...</a>
> <a href="http://www.domain.com/ ">...</a>
> <a name="atagid" id="atagid2">...</a>
> <table><tr><td>...</table>
> <!-- This is a comment with an ending style that may cause problems in 
> browsers -- >
> </body>
> </html> 
Received on Tuesday, 8 February 2011 11:14:36 UTC

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