W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-validator@w3.org > March 2003

Re: validation in Opera

From: David Bryant <davidbryant@att.net>
Date: Sat, 15 Mar 2003 13:35:55 -0700
Message-ID: <3E738EAB.5070701@att.net>
To: Bjoern Hoehrmann <derhoermi@gmx.net>
CC: Nick Kew <nick@webthing.com>, Håkon Wium Lie <howcome@opera.com>, www-validator@w3.org

Bjoern Hoehrmann wrote:

>* Nick Kew wrote:
>>DOCTYPE is mandated by W3C HTML standards, and its absence is an error.
>>I think the point was that the W3 validator treats that error as fatal,
>>and that that may be having a negative effect by turning novice users
>>away from validation altogether.
>I have often used the validator to help others fixing their site, but I
>stopped doing so, when 0.6.0 went live, because I typically have to
>submit the same page two, three and sometimes even four times in order
>to get meaningful results. I also stopped advertising use of the W3C
>MarkUp Validator alltogether, because many people don't understand why
>the Validator rejects their pages, and either complain why I point them
>at such broken tools or ask me why it behaves like this, and I don't
>want to explain it again and again, so this doesn't effect novices only.
This is very interesting. I had exactly the opposite reaction.

I didn't know anything about <!doctype> when a friend first pointed me at
the validator page. But once I learned I should stick that in, and I got my
<meta http-equiv=...> tags straightened out, I found the validator to be a
valuable service. And using it led me to the w3schools, where I learned
new things about CSS, etc.

Perhaps a workable compromise is in order here. Would it be possible
to set up a new "fatal errors" page? One that explains, in a gentle way,
that standards are set up for everybody's benefit, and why specifying a
DOCTYPE and naming the character set in use are such important

Many of us probably have a somewhat provincial view of the internet. I
hadn't really stopped to think about all the different character sets in use
around the world until I saw the long list of different character encoding
schemes at


The people who set out to design and implement a browser program
certainly have a big task ahead of them, and any help I can offer, by
making my coding readily intelligible, seems a small price to pay in
terms of the time and effort the standards actually require me to expend.
Received on Saturday, 15 March 2003 15:38:52 UTC

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