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Referer validation errors

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Mon, 24 Sep 2001 11:25:32 -0700
Message-Id: <>
To: www-validator@w3.org
Hi, I recently had someone write to me and tell me that I obviously
didn't know anything about HTML or web accessibility and she was
very skeptical of my online course in web accessibility because
she tried to validate the Idyll Mountain Internet page and "got

I tried it and all I got was the character encoding warning (since
updated thanks to Apache magic), but she claimed:

 >I am sure you will get this message.
 >Warning: No Character Encoding detected! To assure correct validation,
 >processing, and display, it is important that the character encoding is
 >properly labeled. Further explanations. 
 >Below are the results of attempting to parse this document with an SGML
 >Line 1, column 1: 
 >   ^
 >Error: end of document in prolog 
 >Sorry, I can't validate this document.

My wife recognized this error and described it as:

 >This is what happens when a referer link to the validator is
 >followed by someone using a browser that does not send proper
 >referer information. It attempts to validate what is essentially
 >an empty document.

Is Liz correct, and if so, why is this the behavior of the validator?
Should it do something different if there is not sufficient
information given to attempt validation?


Kynn Bartlett  <kynn@idyllmtn.com>                http://kynn.com/
Technical Developer Liaison, Reef             http://www.reef.com/
Chief Technologist, Idyll Mountain Internet   http://idyllmtn.com/
Online Instructor, Accessible Web Design     http://kynn.com/+d201
Received on Monday, 24 September 2001 14:26:51 UTC

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