Validation as a browser feature (Re: W3C Validator for uploading files)

On Mon, 17 Sep 2001, Aaron Swartz wrote:

> (cced to www-validator, a publicly archived list)

[which is where I just read it]

> > <frerich> hello
> > <frerich> Is this the right place to express wishlist items for 
> > the W3C validator? :-)
> > * frerich is a KDE/Konqueror developer and would like to 
> > implement a 'Validate this file' feature for local files (which 
> > would then upload that file to the validator). The problem is 
> > that I don't see how to pass the file to the validator :-)


As readers of www-validator know, I operate a validation service
that is functionally equivalent to the W3C validator.  I am also
keen to work with related projects such as yours.

Since you are proposing an integrated browser feature, the service
can be optimised by returning just a list of validation messages,
and delegating the presentation of a report to the browser itself.
With precisely this in mind, can I suggest you test-drive the
validation service at <URL:>
with a URL in PATH_INFO - e.g.

You will see that this returns an XML report much more compact than
the general-purpose validation services, leaving the Browser to
format the report for a human reader.

To offer the "validate local file" feature you are asking for, I would
suggest a simplified file upload mechanism, possibly using HTTP PUT
with the document as request body.

> Sorry I wasn't around to answer your question on the IRC 
> channel. This sounds like a great idea, is it not possible using 
> the "upload file" mechanism on the validator:
> I think this should let you do just about all you need.

It should indeed, but it implies the somewhat cumbersome encoding
of HTTP POST, and a significant overhead of returning a full-blown
HTML report for every validation.  With something intelligent at
the Client end, we can do better than that.

Nick Kew

Site Valet - the essential service for anyone with a website.

Received on Tuesday, 18 September 2001 07:48:16 UTC