[thelist] HTML validators(off topic)

aardvark roselli at earthlink.net
Fri Sep 1 06:34:30 CDT 2000

> From: George Donnelly
> I use the w3c one and bobby religiously and i
> attempt to make my pages
> conform to them. http://www.cyklotron.com/ is my
> most compliant site; xhtml
> 1 strict, css, accesibility. not perfect yet though

while this is admirable, i guess i'm still confused about
why folks are making XHTML sites... i think y'all have seen
me ask this before...  HTML4 is so close at this point, and
support is more well-understood, and XHTML doesn't give you
anything particularly new unless you don't care that the
browsers can't see it, that i don't know why people are
coding to it...

more oddly, i see HTML4 pages with things like <br />, which
isn't incorrect... anyway...

> the w3c html validator
> http://validator.w3.org/
> the w3c css validator
> http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/

i use these because they wrote the specs, and as such, who
is better qualified to test than the author... other
validators do a good job, but i haven't used many in a
while... although, if you read my testing rant
(http://www.evolt.org/index.cfm?menu=8&cid=2396), some folks
in the comments section feel that real developers don't use
"rinky-dink tools like the w3 validator [which] are useless
and wouldn't waste their time doing so."  of course, i think
that person was also on crack...

> bobby (checks for accessibility as well as other
> useful stuff)
> http://www.cast.org/bobby/

in addition to Bobby, walking through the page with the WAI
checklist open is another great way to manually validate a

and yes, a DTD is needed... good code should always be

as for full conformance, i have a few sites that pass
perfectly (like my personal site and a few client sites)...
my company site fails because i use the 'topmargin' and
'marginheight' attributes in my body tag, but that was a
conscious decision on my part to deviate from the
standards... every now and then you'll see that in my
code... deprecated tags are often sitting about, but those
are things that will go away once browsers come up to

it's also important to note that you can make a page that
meets the WAI guidelines, passed the W3C validators, and is
still eminently unusable... a page of nothing but sliced
images and .gif text, even with 'alt' attributes, may not be
the best thing you could do... buttons may be too small, or
too undifferentiated... the code may all appear on one
line... etc... validators can only guide you, ultimately,
you have to make sure it goes beyond that...

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