Re: <q> and commas

2008/10/30 Philip TAYLOR (Ret'd) <>

> OK, fair comment, but one that begs the question
> "what makes markup invalid ?".  The code itself
> is valid, if one believes the validator, yet it
> contravenes a "should" (or, to be more accurate,
> a "should not") in the prose.  Does that make the
> document "invalid", or simply "poorly conforming" ?

Actually, the HTML 4.01 spec is slightly mealy-mouthed on this point. See
s.19.1 [1]:

"[You] should check your document against an SGML parser such as nsgmls (see
[SP]), to verify that HTML documents conform to the HTML 4 DTD. ... Beware
that such validation, although useful and highly recommended, does not
guarantee that a document fully conforms to the HTML 4 specification ... for
instance, it cannot catch errors such as setting the width attribute of an
IMG element to an invalid value (i.e., "foo" or "12.5"). ... Nevertheless,
this type of validation is still highly recommended since it permits the
detection of a large set of errors that make documents invalid."

My reading of this, especially the last sentence I've quoted above, is that
while automated "validators" detect "a large set of errors that make
documents invalid", they cannot catch all such errors. Since avoiding all
such errors seems to be synonymous with conforming to the HTML 4
specification, this appears to imply that the sample document you presented
is, indeed, invalid. Synonymously, it is not in conformance with the spec.

For what it's worth, the HTML 5 spec as it stands is a bit clearer on these

>From s.2.2 [2]:

"[There] are three types of conformance criteria:
- Criteria that can be expressed in a DTD.
- Criteria that cannot be expressed by a DTD, but can still be checked by a
- Criteria that can only be checked by a human."




Received on Thursday, 30 October 2008 12:34:06 UTC