W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-validator@w3.org > September 2008

Re: Add Subject Here - Validation icons

From: Jukka K. Korpela <jkorpela@cs.tut.fi>
Date: Tue, 9 Sep 2008 19:06:12 +0300
Message-ID: <3933B7DE0D6542F89555ABCBF732E666@JukanPC>
To: <www-validator@w3.org>

Rui del-Negro wrote:

> I think you are missing the point of displaying a valid / validation
> icon on a website.

The point is best missed, since if we take seriously the W3C propaganda, 
it's worse than useless. "To show your readers that you have taken the care 
to create an interoperable Web page, you may display this icon on any page 
that validates", they say. That simply isn't true. Validation by no means 
implies interoperability; it does not even imply compliance to HTML 

If say, for some propagandistic reason, something that is not true, it might 
be just ignorance or carelessness. But if you do that on purpose, 
consciously, and having been explained what you are really doing, what does 
_that_ make you?

> It's not about showing that you know how to create
> valid code,

Actually, the W3C seems to be saying that it is, for one part.

> and it's not about letting people validate your pages.

Actually, it can be used as a shortcut to validation, and this is often 
presented as an argument for it. It's a rather foolish argument, since 
author's shortcuts shouldn't be visitors' problem or even visible to them, 
but it's not completely absurd, and it's one of the common arguments.

> It's about dedicating a small area of your page to promoting the idea
> of web standards and interoperability.

It's no small area if it is, for example, the only image on an otherwise 
text-only page. Besides, it is easy to list down 1,000,000 causes that are 
more important, on the global and historical scale, than compliance to 
formal syntax or even "web standards and interoperability" (a most vague 
concept and mostly outside the scope of validation).

> And if it makes even just a
> few people aware of the fact that there _are_ standards,

I don't see how the validation icon promotes the only real standard in the 
topic area, namely ISO 15455, or why that exercise in futility _should_ be 

> and that
> following them can make websites look and fuction almost identically
> in different browsers,

Non sequitur. That's neither the purpose nor an implication of W3C 
recommendations, often incorrectly called "standards".

> then those people are less likely to blame
> websites for browser bugs or blame browsers for poorly coded websites.

Why would that matter, to someone authoring web pages, or to web site 
visitors, or anyone else?

Received on Tuesday, 9 September 2008 16:07:09 UTC

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