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RE: 2 HTML documents in one

From: John Foliot - bytown internet <foliot@bytowninternet.com>
Date: Thu, 3 Apr 2003 06:43:08 -0500
To: "phil potter" <p.potter@chester.ac.uk>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <GKEFJJEKDDIMBHJOGLENOEOGDFAA.foliot@bytowninternet.com>

I'm not sure which validator Patrick was using, but the WDG validator picked
the double HTML element out right away.

There has been much discussion on this list in the past about "technical"
validation, with basically two camps emerging... the "so what" camp, which
believes that as long as it "works" it works; that well formed, valid HTML
documents aren't that important as long as what hits the browser is
accessible to the end user.  The other camp (of which I am unabashedly a
member) states that you must get the fundamentals right first, and that
includes authoring the mark-up language correctly and to the declared

For any large entity to function properly, it must be based upon standards.
If you want to build a house in today's modern society, you must use
properly engineered, standards based blueprints.  This is so that not only
will your house "stand the test of time" but will also ensure that the
"neighbourhood" will also survive intact and be robust, usable and safe now
and into the future.  Now you don't actually need blueprints and engineers
to build a house and there are undoubtedly numerous houses out there that
were just "built", but in the larger picture, without standards and
compliance to them you run the risk of ending up with a shanty town.

So too with "the web".  As a medium, an entity, a "neighbourhood" we are
still in the early days and years of it's evolution... it's still very much
a shanty town.  But if the collective "we" that are the ones who are
building and maintaining this medium don't lead the way and start to take
standards seriously then we are doomed to a life of shanty towns.  And while
there will always be those who believe they can just "bang something
together" and throw it up on the web, it will look and react like something
cobbled together, and will lack credibility... how often do you take a
home-made page seriously?  So there is a credibility issue at stake over the
long run too.  Code validation is pretty simple... it's black and white,
right or wrong.  The on-line validators will pick out the mistakes, almost
surgically, and tell the developer where those mistakes are (line and
character numbers), so that the developer can go back and fix the error.
There is very little rocket science or alchemy here... it's a straight
forward process which anyone can do regardless of their "design talents" or
skills.  Why more institutions and organizations don't insist upon this
basic compliance is still beyond me.

Phil started out by asking if this was acceptable.  Phil - no, IMHO it is


> -----Original Message-----
> From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org]On
> Behalf Of Lauke PH
> Sent: Thursday, April 03, 2003 4:10 AM
> To: phil potter; w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
> Subject: RE: 2 HTML documents in one
> Hmmm...I may be wrong, but...that is a malformed html document if
> I ever saw one. I think the validator does not flag up the issue
> of the "double html" simply because it's not programmed to pick
> up such gross inconsistencies. If one HTML block was nested
> inside another one, then it would probably throw an error.
> I suspect the origin of this page originally lies in a frameset
> with a top navigation bar and main content frame, which have been
> kludged together to form a single page. The fact that browsers
> seem to display it ok-ish (even lynx seems accommodating enough,
> in that respect) does not detract from the fact that, as far as I
> can tell, it's not legal code.
> Going beyond the "double html" issue and looking at the
> individual codes, the site is, unfortunately, far from
> accessible. I haven't spent much time on it, but a simple look at
> it in lynx (with the inordinate ammount of [spacer] graphics
> lacking any sort of ALT attribute) would indicate that it will
> need a lot of work before it meets accessibility standards.
> Patrick
> ________________________________
> Patrick H. Lauke
> WWW Editor
> External Relations Division
> Faraday House
> University of Salford
> Greater Manchester
> M5 4WT
> Tel: +44 (0) 161 295 4779
> e-mail: webmaster@salford.ac.uk
> www.salford.ac.uk
> -----Original Message-----
> From: phil potter [mailto:p.potter@chester.ac.uk]
> Sent: 03 April 2003 09:03
> To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
> Cc: phil potter
> Subject: 2 HTML documents in one
> Dear all,
> I've been looking at this Web site for sometime and wondering about its
> validity, both from a coding point-of-view, and also from an
> accessibility one too. If you look at the source code there are
> actually 2 HTML documents on the same page - I've never seen this done
> anywhere else and was wondering if it is acceptable or not. The
> technique is actually utilised quite frequently across many of our
> colleges web pages. It doesn't validate, but not for the reasons I
> would have expected.
> http://www.chester.ac.uk/performingarts/
> Any thoughts?
> Phil
Received on Thursday, 3 April 2003 06:43:29 UTC

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