Hixie's Natural Log

2002-05-25 21:40 UTC Valid garbage in, valid garbage out

But the validator says it's correct!

I hear that a lot. Someone writes a Web page or stylesheet, finds it doesn't work as expected in Mozilla, checks their page with the HTML and CSS W3C validators, and when they get the all-clear, assumes that the bug must be in Mozilla. (People do the same with spell checkers -- if the spelling and grammar checker say the document is ok, then they assume it must be flawless.)

Well, sorry, but writing a Web page using only <span>s and <div>s, using tables for layout in a document labelled as being HTML 4.01 Strict, sending XML files as text/html or CSS files as text/plain, saying width:100% when you mean width:auto, giving alt attributes that contain titles instead of alternate text... that isn't standards compliant. Those violations might not be caught by the imperfect and limited validators that the W3C provides, but they are just as bad if not worse than the simple technical errors that are caught by these automated verification tools.