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

Re: "valid [X]HTML x.x!" icons are Evil (was Re: Thanks a lot)

From: Frank Tiggelaar <frankti@xs4all.nl>
Date: Mon, 17 Dec 2001 10:38:13 +0100
Message-ID: <3C1DBD05.90701@xs4all.nl>
To: James Ralston <qralston+ml.www-validator@andrew.cmu.edu>
CC: webmaster@domovina.net, www-validator@w3.org, Martin Duerst <duerst@w3.org>
James Ralston wrote:

> On Wed, 12 Dec 2001, Frank Tiggelaar wrote:
>>However, since we have lost confidence in w3.org, we shall abandon
>>w3c validition, not only at Domovina Net, but also at BB&H
>>Consultancy and its clients' websites.  From now on the only
>>criterium will be that pages look OK in Internet Deplorer.  A crying
>>shame, of course, but we cannot afford to deliver validated pages
>>only to find out a week later they're no longer valid.
> This is a fairly childish reaction, don't you think?


  Of course I am mighty annoyed and angry by what happened; the main 
reason for my anger being that W3C puts faulty validator software on 
line  and then, after discovering its faults, tells me: "Stupid you! You 
ought to be aware that when our on line software tells you that your 
pages are standards-compliant, that claim is not to be taken seriously." 
  I think that is unfair: IMHO a standard is a definition/set of specs 
you measure your product by, and when both the standard and the measure 
stem from the same house, one should be safe.

Domovina Net attempts to document the wars in the former Yugoslavia, a 
process which generates huge amounts of archive material. As far as page 
creation/html-writing is concerned, most pages are 'set and forget', 
i.e. most pages will probably never be updated again. In a rapidly 
changing web-world we are trying to make sure these pages can still be 
read in ten years time, and we thought W3C validation was our best bet.

I feel W3C must not withdraw the 'OK' from pages which its software did 
validate, whether the author(s) heeded the encouragement "To show your 
readers that you have taken the care to create etc." or not.  There are 
a number of options to correct glitches in the validator software (or 
faulty implementation of standards in same): adding a letter relating to 
the validator software version (4.0a, 4.0b) seems a fairly simple one. 
But once validated [by a specific version of the validator] pages must 
remain 'valid' for the rest of their lives [by that particular 
standard/validator combination] or else W3C should altogether cease to 
offer validation software.

I discussed the W3C issue with a senior consultant in our office (a 

UK Certified ISO-9000 Auditor) and he said that what W3C does is 

'unbelievable'. Of course ISO-9000 sets standards for manufacturing 

companies, but also under ISO-9004 (for the service industry), it is 

simply impossible to withdraw validation on the grounds of a certifying 

authority's faults.

After looking at the validator pages, my colleague is of the opinion
that the validator software is presented as a 'certification authority' 
by itself - there are no disclaimers or conditions whatsoever on the 
page which returns the validation results - OK is simply OK. Or is it?

Received on Monday, 17 December 2001 04:38:04 UTC

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