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RE: HTML Validator Software?


From: Karl Groves
Date: Oct 29, 2003 8:51AM

> I must admit that my "quest" for getting everyone to validate
> and write
> their code in standard format is a never ending battle.

Believe me, I know. I work with a team of developers who don't seem to "get it" about web standards or accessibility.
If their ASP scripts or SQL statements were invalid, they would not operate at all, so it seems like "Displaying fine on screen" is all the validation they need to verify to themselves that they've done an acceptable job.

The issue is much greater than getting something to display properly or even pass a check at the W3C validator. Many people don't understand the entire concept behind HTML and document structure. They do not understand the greater possible ramifications for turning out poor work.

1) Creating proper HTML is a quality issue. Creating well structured page markup is just like doing anything else well. "Displaying fine" in all modern computer browsers is no guarantee that the site will display well in future browsers, or on alternative devices such as PDAs or Phones. A major part of the code to write a web browsing application is dedicated to compensating for poor markup. But there's no way of predicting what amount of compensation future browsers will do and what form their compensation will take and to what extent.

2) Creating proper HTML is a workflow issue. By doing it right the first time, you're helping to eliminate steps in the case that troubleshooting is needed. This is *especially* true when using server-side scripting to write dynamic content to the screen. I've seen massive problems in the past with pages blowing apart because the HTML written to the page was terrible depending on the input from the script.

3) Creating proper HTML is an accessibility issue. There's a major difference between "valid" and "accessible". In fact, almost all accessibility guidelines revolve around proper use of HTML.

I have an article on my personal site that may interest you in your office battles - http://www.karlcore.com/articles/article.php?id=9

Jukka has a very good rant on validation that deserves a read -
He makes very good points about validation only being a tool and that one shouldn't validate just for the sake of saying it is valid. In my opinion, that makes it all the more important to ensure that the document is not just valid, but "proper" as well.

Karl L. Groves, Certified Master CIW Designer
E-Commerce Manager
NASA Federal Credit Union
500 Prince Georges Blvd.
Upper Marlboro, MD 20774

301-249-1800 ext.497
Fax: 301-390-4531

Opinions expressed in this e-mail represent only myself and are not in any way to be taken as the words or opinions of my employer.

> Michael
> -----Original Message-----
> Michael -
> Is there something that you're looking for that the W3C
> validator does not
> offer? The W3C validator can validate local files and online
> files. Is it a
> case of developers not having an Internet connection?
> Karl L. Groves, Certified Master CIW Designer
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Michael Goddard [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ]
> > Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 2003 10:04 AM
> > Subject: HTML Validator Software?
> >
> >
> > I don't know for sure if this is the right forum to ask
> this question
> > however I am looking into getting our company to purchase some HTML
> > validation software that can be ran from a users' desktop (Win 98,
> > 2000 and XP Pro) that not only can validate local files but also
> > online files.
> >
> > I am currently trying to get the company to enforce a valid
> > HTML 4.01/XHTML
> > code standard (there are 3 other HTML and PHP programmers
> > working in the web
> > department who could care less) and currently I have been
> > checking all of my
> > work via http://validator.w3.org/
> >
> > I know there are a few desktop validators out there. CSE
> and "A Real
> > Validator". Any recommendations and / or thoughts?
> >
> > Thank you,
> >
> > Michael Goddard
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > ----
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> > visit http://www.webaim.org/discussion/
> >
> >

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