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The Validation Dance

These days I tead to read blogs of web designers that are more experienced, better educated and—quite simply—more professional than myself (the ATC Project, which is ancient, inert, all but broken and badly in need of a consitent design, is proof of my amateur status). I figure that if I wanted to learn about web design at this stage I could do far worse than by watching what the professionals did with and said about web design.

It was in this frame of mind last week that I visited D. Keith Robinson's site Asterisk and read the article entitled "Random Acts Of Validation", where he checked 30 random sites through the different validators. I was surprised by the results and began to wonder about this blog and how it stacked up. So, this weekend I sat down with my blog and ran it through the W3C's validator.

The result, based on XHTML 1.0 Transitional? 13 separate errors:

  • One was me forgetting to close the image tag on the penguin-game screenshot from early last week.
  • One was an unencoded ampersand in a link.
  • The rest were from code pasted in from various places to get comments and site statistics, most of those being where the type was not specified in a script tag.

Armed with these statistics, I dove into my code to see what I could fix. So, did I fix everything? In a word, no. My own goof-ups were easy to fix, as was the pasted code from NedStats (script and a "nosave" attribute in the img tag) and HaloScan (more script). However there are four errors in the Blog*Spot code for the ad at the top of the screen. The validator says six, but it gives two errors apiece to two individual unclosed tag issues. I've sent a message along to the Blogger folks detailing the issue, and hopefully they will be able to fix the errors.


Perhaps it's a little bit of frustration over things that aren't under my control, but I have to wonder what the point is in having valid markup on sites that will arbitrarily place invalid markup over what's been written. Should I finally bite the bullet and get myself some paid webspace for which to blog?

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