[whatwg] Thesis draft about HTML5 conformance checking

olivier Thereaux ot at w3.org
Mon Apr 9 17:50:05 PDT 2007

On Mar 28, 2007, at 21:24 , Henri Sivonen wrote:
>> It's been a truly informative and enlightening reading, especially  
>> the parts where you develop on the (im)possibility of using only  
>> schemas to describe conformance to the html5 specs. This is a  
>> question that has been bothering me for a long time, especially as  
>> there is only one (as of today) production-ready conformance  
>> checking tool not based on some kind (or combination) of schema- 
>> based parsers,
> I take it that you mean the Feed Validator?


> Also, in the future, I'd like to make it super-easy for CMS  
> developers to integrate the conformance checker back end to their  
> products. To enable this, the barrier for getting a runnable copy  
> should be low.

Libraries/APIs in a few languages?

> I'm very pessimistic about translations. Even the online markup  
> checkers whose authors have borne the burden of making the messages  
> translatable aren't getting numerous translation contributions.

It depends. Projets with large user bases do get a lot of volunteers  
for translation.

>> Indeed. Did you have a chance to look at EARL?
> I did. I also had a look at the SOAP and Unicorn outputs of the W3C  
> Validator. I like EARL the least of the three, because its  
> assumptions about the nature of the checker software do not work  
> well with implementations that have a grammar-based schema inside.  
> Grammar-based implementations cannot cite an exact conformance  
> criterion when a derivation in the grammar fails as demonstrated by  
> the EARL output of the W3C Validator. The SOAP and Unicorn formats,  
> even if crufty to my taste, match better the SAX ErrorHandler  
> interface.

Interesting, thanks for your thoughts. Which version of EARL did you  
look at? If you made your mind based on the earl outputs of the  
markup validator, note that it's due for an update. the EARL spec has  
gone through a lot of development and changes, and the new version  
clearly takes conformance checkers as a use case:
The group developing EARL is really eager to get feedback, so if you  
find that it has shortcomings in some areas, I think you could easily  
get that changed.


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