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Re: [VE][73] Error Message Feedback

From: Jukka K. Korpela <jkorpela@cs.tut.fi>
Date: Wed, 3 Aug 2005 10:49:19 +0300 (EEST)
To: www-validator@w3.org
Cc: Risto Kaartinen <risto.kaartinen@welho.com>
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.4.63.0508031037280.11966@korppi.cs.tut.fi>

On Wed, 3 Aug 2005, Olivier Thereaux wrote:

> Your <head> is missing a <title>.

We have often seen suggestions that this common error should be reported 
more directly - especially since it is a practically significant error
(see e.g. "<title>: the most important element of a quality Web page", 
http://www.w3.org/QA/Tips/good-titles ).

Unfortunately it seems that there is no way to achieve that without major 
changes in the validator's structure. At present it can only signal that a 
required subelement is missing, not what subelement is missing.

As a practical method, many people have adopted the habit of writing a 
<title> element right at the start of the <head> element. This may help 
against accidental omission of <title>, and it is a fairly logical 
order, too. Technically, the mutual order of subelements of <head>
is free; so you can choose an order that looks good to you.

But there's a catch. Sometimes the character encoding of a document can 
only be deduced (by a browser) from the information in a <meta> tag.
This is unfortunate, but for such situations, it is probably best to write 
an element like
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html;charset=iso-8859-1">
as the first subelement of <meta>, and the <title> element next. The 
reason is that your <title> element might, now or in a revised version, 
contain non-ASCII characters, so things work better if the browser knows 
the encoding at that point.

Jukka "Yucca" Korpela, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Received on Wednesday, 3 August 2005 07:49:34 UTC

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