W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-validator@w3.org > August 2001

Re: Suggestion: Check elment first, attribute second

From: Christian Smith <csmith@barebones.com>
Date: Thu, 2 Aug 2001 14:04:21 -0400
To: www-validator@w3.org
cc: Bryce Nesbitt <bryce@obviously.com>
Message-ID: <20010802140421-b01010801-61ba3304-0910-010c@>
On Thursday, August 2, 2001 at 1:35 AM, bryce@obviously.com (Bryce
Nesbitt) wrote:

> > > I've had trouble getting web page authors to use the validator,
> > > because of issues like this (spurious error messages -- especially
> > > because of valid Javascript).
> > 
> > In what case is valid javascript causing errors to be reported?
> > Examples?
> See http://www.htmlhelp.com/tools/validator/problems.html#script
> The w3c validator is basically useless for validating pages that
> dynamically generate HTML with JavaScript.  While I don't expect the
> validator to understand JavaScript, it could at least be silent about
> the supposed syntax violations. 

It can't be. There is no way for the validator to know if an error is one
which will be cancelled out by something generated by the Javascript. The
long and the short of it is that the HTML page needs to be valid HTML
before AND after the Javascript is interpreted.

> > > A way to be less strict might improve usage.
> > 
> > Being less strict is not the answer. If the tool is useless it doesn't
> > matter how much it is used. The first item however does not (in my
> > opinion) make the checker less strict.
> I've had problems with half a dozen web designers, getting them to use
> the validator.  They all complain that it complains about non-issues. 
> They complain that major websites don't pass.  Here's a typical
> complaint, that I got just today:
> My web designer wrote: "Not to be difficult but please run www.ibm.com,
> www.apple.com, www.yahoo.com, www.cnn.com through
> http://validator.w3.org/ and you will notice that all the "bugs" are
> exactly the same as your site. "

This has nothing to do with the validator being strict or not. This is
just the old "Every body else is doing it this way" arguement.

> Therefore they don't use it.  At all. They don't use it, and miss big
> things like misnested tables, incorrectly used attributes, direct
> FrontPage/Word/Microsoftisms and worse.
> Which does better for the standards community:
> 	o A strict validator that many people won't run.
> 		-or-
> 	o A lose validator that's more practical to use for real websites,
> 	  but also less strict.

The second is useless because it is meaningless. The first is only useful
if people use it. There are tools (contractual obligations) which can be
used to force people to generate valid code. If they MUST provide valid
code they'll use the tools which enable them to do this.

Christian Smith  |  csmith@barebones.com  |  http://web.barebones.com

He who dies with the most friends... Is still dead!
Received on Thursday, 2 August 2001 14:04:46 UTC

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