The W3C Redesigns Their HTML Validator

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) HTML validator its probably one of the most used tools for someone who works on the Web.

Well, the W3C just launched a redesign of the HTML validator.  While it looks a little cleaner, it’s not going to win any design awards.

Next time, they should take suggestions from the Web design community.  I’m sure a lot of people would want to help because we all use the tool so often.

The New W3C Validator Design

The Old W3C Validator Design

WCAG 2.0: Well Formed (X)HTML is a Criteria for Success

Every Web standardista should be happy to hear that well-formed (X)HTML is a requirement at Level A for the W3C‘s latest draft of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. Success Criteria 4.1.1 says

4.1.1 Parsing: Content implemented using markup languages has elements with complete start and end tags, except as allowed by their specifications, and are nested according to their specifications. (Level A)

This means that you have to follow the rules when writing the markup for your Web site. The possible techniques for meeting this success criteria are:

There is more then one possible technique that would be possible for fulfilling this success criteria. You don’t have to do them all, just one.

One option, as notated in the first technique listed, is that you have valid HTML. You should be able to go to the W3C validator and get the big thumbs up.

Probably the best option, as noted in the second technique listed, is that you write your HTML according to the specification. This is more then just well formed markup. This means you should have meaningful and semantic markup, as specified by the specification.

The final option – the fall back option – is just having well-formed markup, as notated by the last two techniques. You’re HTML tags should properly nest with each other and that every open tag that needs a closed tag has one.

I’m guessing this final option is there for those who don’t want to lose their accessibility conformance because they have an errant miswritten ampersand that shows up somewhere (having worked at a large organization on their web team, this happens often).

I’m good with these options. In the end we are requiring of people that they use well-formed markup, which is a big part of the battle against tag soup.

What do you think?

One accessibility expert wrote in 2006 that…

Even if valid HTML everywhere all the time is unattainable, the fact remains that, in 2006, we have never had more developers who understand the concept and are trying to make it real on their own sites. WCAG 2 undoes a requirement that, were it retained, could be perfectly timed now.

Please share your thoughts. Team, Stop Lurking at Join the Conversation

A referrer from interal docs to my blog

(above is a screen capture from my referrers)

Yesterday, I wrote a post about how I thought it was unprofessional of the Web Team for their beta redesign site to use some presentational HTML tables and to have invalid markup.

Today I got a few visitors who were referred from:

The page doesn’t load. If I had to guess, it’s an internal wiki. Turner Broadcasting is documenting all of the blogs that are talking about the beta redesign. I’m ticked that they finding important to read blogs and find out what we think but…

Instead of the Web development folks at Turner Broadcasting lurking in the background just reading the post, why do you post a comment… join the conversation?

Explain to me and the rest of us Web standardistas the business justification for publishing a site that doesn’t conform to best practices (valid HTML for content and CSS only for design) that everyone in the Web industry agrees are in the best interest of anyone. Beta Still Uses Invalid XHTML and Some Presentational Tables

I was excited when I heard that CNN was working on a redesign of their Web site and had posted a beta. 

What really disappoints me is that they’re still using HTML tables for presentation.  Who does that any more?

Plus they have 60 validation errors.

It is just plain unprofessional to not use standards-based design.  Come on CNN get your act together.