[whatwg] [html5] tags, elements and generated DOM

Olav Junker Kjær olav at olav.dk
Thu Apr 7 02:24:55 PDT 2005

Jim Ley wrote:
> Firstly I think the conclusions that the audience for WHAT-WG stuff
> doesn't understand the limitations of the validator is sustainable -
> where's the evidence?

People putting small icons on their pages to indicate that the page is
valid. Also, lots of articles on the web about jumping through hoops to 
e.g. make a flash embed validate.

> And secondly, there won't be any QA tools at all if the validator
> isn't one of them, so we'll be getting even more crap published, and
> far from cleaning up the correctness, we'll just have a whole new load
> of crud to rubber stamp as valid in WF2, 

A conformance checker is a rubber stamp. Therefore its quite
important that a conformance checker actually checks conformance to the
spec, otherwise it is snake oil.

As HTML applications becomes more complex it becomes more important
that the markup and code is correct, but DTD-validation becomes even 
less sufficient to catch errors. A basic validity error like forgetting 
to close an <b>-tag will not cause the page to stop working. However, a
syntax error in the initial value of a date control *will* cause the
page to stop working as intended.

> now I realise it's to the
> advantage of existing browser manufacturers to rubber stamp
> complicated heuristic behaviour they've already solved into a spec (it
> prevents new entrants from coming along)  but how is it to the
> advantage to the rest of us - understanding specifications becomes
> harder and harder and relies on the fact that we knew what happened
> before...

If you are referring to the paragraph about parse errors in 
I tend to agree with you. However, I dont think the requirement that 
conformance checkers should check conformance makes this worse.

The reason comparatively few authors validate their pages, is that the 
immediate practical benefit is quite small. A conformance checker would 
be much more valuable since it might catch real errors which might cause 
the page to stop working. Presumably, this added benefit will cause more 
  authors to check their pages.

Olav Junker Kjær

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