Does it matter anymore?

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Does it matter anymore?

Carlos Narváez-2

What is the importance of w3c anymore, even if the major players don't
follow their standards? Upon validating some of our site pages, I
posed the question to myself of just how many of the "Heavy Hitters"
are doing the same as I am.

The Following results are from using w3c's HTML Validator tool with
default settings:
I am NOT name calling in ANY WAY. :)
Search:
Google.com - Failed validation, 50 Errors
Yahoo.com - Failed validation, 34 Errors
live.com - Failed validation, 64 Errors

Big Box:
Walmart.com - Failed validation, 78 Errors
Amazon.com - Failed validation, 1199 Errors
Homedepot.com - Failed validation, 9 Errors

Given these results of some of the heavy hitters on the web today, how
important is HTML validity and/or this tool?

--
Carlos Narváez
http://www.fondosdepantalla.com.mx


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Re: Does it matter anymore?

Patrick H. Lauke

Carlos Narváez wrote:

> Given these results of some of the heavy hitters on the web today, how
> important is HTML validity and/or this tool?

Valid HTML is part of a quality assurance process. Creating sites that
adhere to the spec should guarantee reasonable consistency across all
user agents that also conform to the spec. If certain companies (be they
"heavy hitters" or not) don't think that QA of their markup is of great
concern, that's up to them to deal with. From my own experience, invalid
HTML often gives rise to bizarre behaviour in certain browsers when it
comes to styling via CSS. Rather than spend more time trying to find CSS
workarounds or further kludges to markup, I usually find that fixing the
actual HTML in the first place yields far more predictable results. So,
for my own QA, valid code is an important first step upon which to
build. If Amazon and co. think different, that's frankly up to them.

As for "does it matter anymore?", that's again up to the individual
developers. As the W3C is not an enforcement agency, I'd say it's
irrelevant how many sites do or don't validate. Consider, though, that
as a general trend, HTML code seems to align more and more towards spec
even on large sites (due in no small part to development/design tools
slowly coming around to outputting valid, or at least reasonable, code).
Without a baseline specification to work towards, we'd be left with a
myriad of completely incompatible implementations and "best viewed with
IE" type sites.

IMHO, of course...

P
--
Patrick H. Lauke
______________________________________________________________
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www.splintered.co.uk | www.photographia.co.uk
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______________________________________________________________
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http://webstandards.org/
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Re: Does it matter anymore?

Karl Dubost
In reply to this post by Carlos Narváez-2



Carlos Narváez (21 oct. 2007 - 05:37) :
> What is the importance of w3c anymore, even if the major players don't
> follow their standards?

s/anymore//

If you follow the usual statistics, it has improved over the years.
Validation is an interesting indicator but hides many things. For  
example, a very small organization, or university which does its own  
Web site, will be more likely to be valid than a big company.  The  
very simple reason is that often it takes only one dedicated  
webmaster developing in-house tools and having conformance as heart  
to make the whole site valid, not just the home page.

What's happening often for big companies is that they are not in  
charge of the Web site. They either bought a CMS or they are asking a  
Web agency to create their Web site for them.

Let's take a company like [IBM][1]. There are 355,766 employees.
The company is represented by one person at W3C, who is in charge of  
communication the information to the rest of the company: [W3C AC Rep]
[2]. This person in a big company is not the director of the company.  
Often he/she is the person in charge of one of the development  
department.

These big companies have at least one communication department maybe  
sometimes more than one (depending on the country) and very often  
hundred of Web sites. I'm pretty sure the galaxy of IBM web sites is  
very impressive.

The disconnection on validity and Members companies has nothing to do  
with the fact that a company doesn't care about Web technologies, but  
more about the internal disconnection between development department  
and communication department on one side. And about the often poor  
knowledge of some Web agencies about Web standards.

Let's take another side of the problem, some Web agencies care about  
conformance and validity and they even made a business of it. They  
deliver a Web site which is valid to the customer. Then the customer  
puts into its own CMS and everything is falling apart because the CMS  
is adding poor markup. Here the trouble has two sources:

* The quality control of a Web site is an ongoing project
* The mechanisms for content input have to be delivered WITH the web  
site.

A little call for Web agencies and people who really care about  
validity.

        When you create a Web site for a client.
        Do not just deliver a Web site.
        Create the tools which maintain the quality of the Web site.

A Web site is a live environment. It needs to be nurtured.
We already explained a few times how we do it at W3C, and there are  
still troubles sometimes, but we try to keep going on that.

http://www.w3.org/QA/Tools/LogValidator/
http://www.w3.org/QA/2003/03/web-kit
http://www.w3.org/QA/2002/04/Web-Quality
http://www.w3.org/QA/2006/04/how-to-create-a-valid-website



[1]: http://finance.google.com/finance?q=NYSE%3AIBM
[2]: http://www.w3.org/2005/10/Process-20051014/organization.html#AC


--
Karl Dubost - http://www.w3.org/People/karl/
W3C Conformance Manager, QA Activity Lead
   QA Weblog - http://www.w3.org/QA/
      *** Be Strict To Be Cool ***