CSS validator bug - box model hack


There seems to be a recent outcry on the Web about a new bug in the CSS 
validator that would cause stylesheets using the now infamous "Box 
Model Hack", used widely to avoid unpleasant results with 
non-conforming user agents.

There is, indeed, a (minor yet unpleasant) bug, causing the CSS 
validator to inconsistently return errors (and thus invalidate 
stylesheets) while it should return a simple warning. This bug has 
been, apparently, present in the production version of the CSS 
validator since at least the August 2003 release.

The relevant part of CSS is <http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS2/media.html> , 
which indeed explains which property relates to which media type, but 
does not forbid the use of a property for a media it is not adapted to.

We are really sorry for the inconvenience this bug may cause. It is to 
be noted, however, that the CSS validator is a tool, obviously not 
devoid of occasional bugs and other problems. A tool, and not reference 
material (the specification is).

It is also an open-source software tool, for which bug reports and 
other contributions are of course very welcome! We happen to be reading 
weblogs, but that does not preclude people from dropping us a line 
before starting to write angry columns about how the CSS validator is 
an evil, evil tool! ;-).

We are working on the bases of a new generation for the CSS validator, 
but it will take time. Of course in the meantime, maintenance of the 
present version is going on, and the "box model hack" bug is being 
worked on. It will take some work, apparently, but we have good hopes 
it will be fixed soon.

As a matter of fact, since the wonderful Sijtsche, who was our main 
volunteer developer for the CSS validator, has been recently spending 
less time on it in order to focus on private matters, we could 
definitely use the help of one or a few Java gurus to help in the 
maintenance, that would be awesome. Complaining can be useful, but 
helping is even better. And that, after all, is the essence of 
open-source development.

Thank you,
Olivier Thereaux - W3C / Quality Assurance

Received on Friday, 6 February 2004 07:34:42 UTC