[thelist] Validation errors == optimization?

Shawn K. Quinn skquinn at speakeasy.net
Thu Jun 2 20:20:24 CDT 2011

On Thu, 2011-06-02 at 14:50 -0700, Bill Moseley wrote:
> When I queried about these validation errors:
> http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ithenticate.com%2Fblog%2F
> The response was
> ...written in a way to be optimized for Google and Bing and not to conform
> with W3C standards. This will produce validation errors though these errors
> have no impacts on browser rendering, performance or functionality.
> Is there any truth in the statement about being optimized for Google and
> Bing means there needs to be validation errors?

If anything, search engine robots are *the* reason to write valid,
"street legal" HTML. A lot of these errors are sloppy and exactly the
kinds of things that will trip up robots, most notably the many
occurrences of "end tag for 'meta' omitted, but OMITTAG NO was
specified" (sheesh, nothing wrong with writing HTML 4.01, as long as you
say so in the DOCTYPE and don't try to pass it off as XHTML 1.0) and
"document type does not allow element '...' here". (There is a reason
that <style> and <link> need to go inside <head>, and what were they
thinking with junk like <span><div>? Flagrantly invalid HTML like that
that *will* cause problems with pickier browsers/parsers.)

> Frankly, it doesn't seem like it would be that hard to make it validate
> (considering most are un-secaped entities).  Plus, if you specify "XHTML 1.0
> Transitional"  then are you not saying it conforms to that?

Unescaped entities will cause problems too. If I remember correctly,
technically a conforming parser could chop out that entire part of the
URL leaving something like "rss.aspx?tabid=279911=520406=25" or even
"rss.aspx?tabid=27911" (chopping out all other query parameters until
the end). But it's been a while, so that may be wrong.

I'm surprised this page renders correctly at all on Firefox 4. The fact
that it does is a testament to Firefox's great error recovery behavior,
and definitely not great HTML authoring practices by whoever made the

Shawn K. Quinn <skquinn at speakeasy.net>

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