[whatwg] Re: Doctype FPI

Tim Bray tbray at textuality.com
Wed Jul 14 09:32:43 PDT 2004

On Jul 14, 2004, at 1:24 AM, Ian Hickson wrote:

> Yes. People rely on DTDs in a way which has led to millions of authors 
> to
> have a false sense of having done the right thing, when in fact their
> documents are sometimes worse than documents that are syntactically
> slightly broken but semantically fine.

Agreed, but as a Web Designer who is almost never smart enough to get a 
page design right first time, and who thus spends time crawling down 
CSS rat-holes, I have to say that the online HTML and CSS validators 
are incredibly useful at helping me find my more obvious bugs, and thus 
are huge time-savers.  Nobody claims that having validated successfully 
really proves anything of much use, but precise indications of how & 
where you're *not* valid are incredibly useful.

Thus I think the work of the WHAT-WG would be substantially more useful 
to the community if it were accompanied by some sort of validator that 
would help people like me deal with the consequences of our own 

I agree with someone else who suggested that Relax-NG/Schematron would 
be the sensible way to go about constructing such a thing.  I would 
further point out that the RelaxNG community is full of people in 
evangelism mode who might be inclined to pitch in and help if asked.

- Tim Bray, Director of Web Technologies, Sun Microsystems
   +1-877-305-0889 http://www.tbray.org/ongoing/
   AIM: MarkupPedant
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