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Tech - Posts to comp.infosystems.www.*

From: Jester@t-online.de (Philipp Lenssen)
Newsgroups: comp.infosystems.www.authoring.html
Subject: Re: HTML validation - why bother?
Date: 1998/09/21
Message-ID: <6u457q$789$1@news02.btx.dtag.de>#1/1
zero wrote:
> following conclusion - why bother?  For what possible reason would you need
> to ensure that your HTML is all "correct", other than that inner
> satisfaction that you know your HTML is all compliant?  The way I see it, if

If you would manage to test if the site works on all systems with all
browsers, then your conclusion might be correct. But if you only test
what works in one system with two or three browsers, then you may risk
that other systems and other browsers aren't that good on fixing the
bugs you left. You'd be especially grateful for having a validator if
you see the bugfixes don't need logical restructuring or anything, but
for example just a small closing tag.

Another aspect of validating is that you can actually learn something.
If you learn that element x is not allowed there, you might read the W3C
spec again, and maybe there's a reason it's not allowed there, and maybe
that reason hints at a logical problem with your markup. In that sense,
a little help at reflecting your design.

> it works, and there are no errors that affect the quality of your page, then
> the petty, nitpicking validation shouldn't be a priority.  Am I right,
> people?

If you have enough time and influence, there is no conflict between the
quality of the page (let's call it the popular browsers visual quality)
and its validation, and therefore I wouldn't need to have priority on
either one. If you have to put up a site fast or people want things you
wouldn't know how to do in a way they'd  validate, then I'd always
decide in the favor of a non-validating, working page (working in the
browsers you have tested). After all you're paid for bringing content to
people, and not for making statements about HTML.

That being said, validating is just a very small part in the process of
web design. You can definitely create a completely unreadable site that
validates, and you can probably create a non-validating site that has
such a minor error practically no browser would mind. But validating is
the easy part, because you get fast and definite answers. With the
harder part you're on your own, because no validator tells you if the
font styles fit, the color scheme makes sense, the layout is resolution
independent, the navigation is intuitive, and so on.

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