If it is not a trade secret...

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roedygr
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If it is not a trade secret...

Post by roedygr »

Roughly how many people are using HTMLValidator?

A related question, what percentage of websites routinely run some sort of validator.

One thing that drives me crazy are affiliate websites that ask you to put HTML on your site unmodified that is crawling with errors. I clean it up anyway.

I challenge everyone to come up with an idea to get these folk to run any code they generate through HTMLValidator before inflicting it on the universe. See http://mindprod.com/jgloss/affiliate.html

Perhaps a special sales effort should be directed at affiliate managers especially if they label their generated text as HTML Validated. It would be a good way to get the word out generally, that this is something serious companies do as a matter of course.
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Albert Wiersch
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Re: If it is not a trade secret...

Post by Albert Wiersch »

roedygr wrote:Roughly how many people are using HTMLValidator?
I don't keep track of that exactly, especially those who use the free edition, but there are thousands of licenses in our registered user database.
roedygr wrote:A related question, what percentage of websites routinely run some sort of validator.
I don't know, but I suspect not many!
roedygr wrote:One thing that drives me crazy are affiliate websites that ask you to put HTML on your site unmodified that is crawling with errors. I clean it up anyway.
Yes, it's a very bad example. Cleaning these little bits of HTML up should be easy and everyone, especially larger companies, should know better.
roedygr wrote:I challenge everyone to come up with an idea to get these folk to run any code they generate through HTMLValidator before inflicting it on the universe. See http://mindprod.com/jgloss/affiliate.html

Perhaps a special sales effort should be directed at affiliate managers especially if they label their generated text as HTML Validated. It would be a good way to get the word out generally, that this is something serious companies do as a matter of course.
Well I can't argue with getting more people (including affiliate managers) to use CSE HTML Validator. :D
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MikeGale
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Post by MikeGale »

If you carry out an informal survey of web sites I think you'll find more than 90% have errors on pages. (If you go to problems in JavaScript the proportion, for those using it, is probably higher.)

(Take a favourites list, or similar, and give it a try!)

A lot of decision makers are not in interested, in any way at all. Pointing out the potential problems to them, with documented examples often gets you nowhere.

That's not to say there's no benefit. If you developed the content it is going to be more robust, if you've checked and corrected it.

I regularly see cases where people are not interested even when a simple answer is presented to them. I think some of the things that shape this are:
1) It's working I don't want to touch it
2) It will take me too long to figure out what's going on
3) Any extra effort is too much
4) Looks OK to me, who cares about the "source code"

When IE 8 comes out we might see an awareness spike. A bunch of people persuaded Microsoft to put a fairly tough mode on by default. I haven't bothered to check but I imagine that a lot of sites could break.

On top of that a lot of web developers don't really have the faintest clue about what they're doing at the code level. They don't care, they've chosen a tool that hides it then that tool actively prevents them from ever learning. They have semi-willingly committed themselves to a ghetto of ignorance. I frankly can't understand it, but it's mighty common.

These people are advising companies on Web policy. Guess what kind of policy you get out of that!
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Albert Wiersch
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Post by Albert Wiersch »

Interesting thoughts Mike. I suspect you are 100% correct!
MikeGale wrote:When IE 8 comes out we might see an awareness spike. A bunch of people persuaded Microsoft to put a fairly tough mode on by default. I haven't bothered to check but I imagine that a lot of sites could break.
Yes, that will be interesting. Will Microsoft really release a browser that makes all the "poorly coded" sites break? It might also move people to Firefox since it seems to handle poor HTML pretty well too. And it will get some people to actually fix their websites and look for tools that will help them.
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Post by MikeGale »

I haven't tried to guess what will happen but it will be an interesting time.

My observations are that Firefox actually breaks more sites than IE. I suspect missing closing tags and bad nesting are part of the story (but haven't run any serious analysis).

A lot of sites are updated infrequently, have been touched by a lot of people and have no guiding design principles. The people "in charge" have no intrinsic interest in decent markup (wouldn't recognise it if they saw it) and have often contributed to the mess.

Some will get a wake up call and realise that an unprofessional and ignorant approach can turn around and bite you.

If we end up with 20% of sites passing a basic test, that would be progress.
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Post by cdwz »

Sorry for being late to the party, but this reminds me an idea I had a while back.

Yanno how when you visit a site with an invalid security certificate, most browsers will pop up a window asking you if you want to visit the site despite the invalid certificate? Well, I think all browsers should treat invalid HTML the same way. If there are more than say, a dozen errors on the page, have a window pop up that says something like, "This website uses invalid HTML code. Many items will not display properly. Proceed anyway? Y/N"

That might get some site owners on the ball to avoid annoying their visitors.
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Post by MikeGale »

Hi cdwz

I think the world is in too deep for this to work.

Users would switch the feature off.

It might be rare to get as few as 90% of sites tripping the warning (depends on how it's set). Just too much load for the browser user.

For example, I ran a simple Google query ("web quality") through the validator, it gave me:
0.14s, 38 errors, 75 warnings, 18 messages, 10 validator comments, 3 lines, 309 tags (244 closed), 1 document comment, 11 entities, 800 programs run.
Just think what that would mean to your average Joe running a browser!!

Beyond that a lot of site owners wouldn't understand and there are a lot of people who have faulty set ups to crank out their content. I've seen some of the techniques used. The effort needed to change what is happening just won't happen. (If forced they would simply stop publishing anything.)

In the early days there were no HTML editing tools worthy of the name. The browsers had to be ultra forgiving of the rubbish they got. We are now landed with the consequences.
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