W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > March 2010

RE: HTML5 Authoring Conformance Study

From: Dean Leigh <dean.leigh@deanleigh.co.uk>
Date: Mon, 22 Mar 2010 08:01:19 -0000
To: <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <004301cac995$dbd35250$9379f6f0$@leigh@deanleigh.co.uk>
Working with clients who use a CMS, validation is a boon to quickly spot
when badly formatted HTML has been copied and pasted into WYSIWYG editors.
Our most common support call, even from experienced users, is "why doesn't
my page doesn't look like the rest of the site?". However, we often have to
"Mash-up" all kinds of apps, widgets and gadgets in Iframes, SSI or Script
generated that come with their own formatting methods e.g. Google Adsense.
On some occasions clients wish to quickly add a unique piece of content and
don't wish to pay to add new styles to the main CSS when they can paste in
the a formatted HTML table from Excel for example.

So as a provider of CMS and associated support where do I stand:

Working through a list of 50 errors marking them off as "this is a genuine
error" and "and this is an error we know about but will allow in this case"
makes for time consuming bug fixing and I would say is general bad  practice
(but currently the world I live in). I come down on the side of "if it
doesn't comply it's an error".

However if validation through user agents generated more comprehensive and
easily understandable error reports (perhaps with filtering) then less
technical users of CMSs could be persuaded to comply. Business arguments win
over compliance arguments every time and I'm sure commercial sites would
prefer not to have an error symbol on their sites.

Could there perhaps be more than one error icon/type or level/type or error


-----Original Message-----
From: public-html-request@w3.org [mailto:public-html-request@w3.org] On
Behalf Of Maciej Stachowiak
Sent: 21 March 2010 17:27
To: Leif Halvard Silli
Cc: Shelley Powers; HTMLwg WG
Subject: Re: HTML5 Authoring Conformance Study

On Mar 21, 2010, at 10:15 AM, Leif Halvard Silli wrote:

> Maciej Stachowiak, Sun, 21 Mar 2010 08:21:35 -0700:
>> On Mar 21, 2010, at 7:38 AM, Shelley Powers wrote:
>> What I've found is that very few of the most popular pages validate
>> as their declared doctype. Out of the Alexa top 100 sites, only 8
>> have main pages that validate. So this problem is not new with HTML5,
>> though it's true that we have the opportunity to improve matters. In
>> the course of the study so far, a lot of documents seem to produce
>> fewer errors as HTML5 than as their declared doctype.
>> To the best of knowledge, the rationale for most HTML4 author
>> conformance requirements is not publicly documented. But I think it
>> would be uncharitable to call the authors of HTML 4.01 or XHTML 1.0
>> "pedantic idiots". The rationale for excluding presentational
>> elements and attributes from the Strict DTD is somewhat documented,
>> but seems approximately equivalent to "Use CSS instead".
> But if Google find reason to use HTML attributes instead, then so  
> could
> I. The purpose of using CSS is so that one can be more "semantic". It
> increases "the semantics" by removing attributes that are only
> presentational.

For what it's worth, I don't personally see the value in making  
presentational elements and attributes an error. It's clear that at  
least some authors use them deliberately, and feel they have good  
reasons for doing so.

On the other hand, I can imagine it will be a frequent desire for   
otherauthors to check that they have not used any presentational  
markup. Many developers choose to use all CSS for styling, and would  
like a tool to help enforce that.

Received on Monday, 22 March 2010 08:02:16 UTC

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