W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-qa-dev@w3.org > July 2013

W3C validator and the Amersand Error?

From: Dale McIntosh <dale@deltamac.ca>
Date: Mon, 1 Jul 2013 11:40:17 -0700
Message-Id: <p062408bccdf77d41e424@[]>
To: public-qa-dev@w3.org
I head a team of 8 instructors who teach online Web deign courses (see
http://www.weavingtheweb.net)  for the British Columbia Institute of
Technology (see http://www.bcit.ca/).

We teach about 500 students per year and they are instructed to use the
W3C Validator to check their HTML and CSS syntax. There is only one
problem we have with this practice is that some students use the BBEdit
validator (http://barebones.com/) and other use the CSE validator

When our students use the ampersand (&) as a text character instead of a
control character, BBedit delivers the following message:

     Unencoded entity found; "&" needs to be encoded as "&amp;".

while CSE flags the item as follows

     Found an ampersand '&' without a valid character reference. This
     should probably be "&amp;" so that an actual ampersand character is
     properly displayed (because '&' is an escape character in
     HTML/XHTML). For example, "Recreation &amp; Sports" should be used
     to display "Recreation & Sports".

I did read about the/ambiguous ampersand/ but but am not sure that label
applies here.

We are wondering why W3C does not flag this error (with even a warning)
when a couple of other well respected validators do. If all three
validators acted in the same way here, it would take a whole lot less

Thanks for your time.


R. Dale McIntosh, Ph.D.
DeltaMAC Interactive
71 Lekwammen Drive
Victoria, B.C.
V9A 7M2

Tel: 250.208.3823
Fax: 250.385.9922
E-mail: dale@deltamac.ca

Visit http://www.weavingtheweb.net
Received on Tuesday, 2 July 2013 06:45:51 UTC

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