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Chris Breisch   .NET Data Practices
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Jeff Atwood points out some very disturbing statistics on the web (I'm quoting him, but he's quoting Ian Hickson).

I did a short study recently checking only for syntax errors in HTML documents, and the results were that of the 667416 files tested, 626575 had syntax errors. Over 93%. That's only syntax errors in the HTML, not checking the CSS, the content types, the semantic errors (e.g. duplicate IDs -- 86461 of those files had duplicated IDs), or any other errors.

And an actual quote by Mr. Atwood:

Perhaps this is why there's 63 HTML validation errors on Google's homepage right now. Like it or not, we live in a world of malformed HTML. Browsers aren't compilers. They don't fail spectacularly when they encounter invalid markup. And nor should they. HTML is, and always has been, tolerant by design. We'll always be awash in a sea of tag soup.

Ok, we all know I'm no fan of Google, and no, this isn't another attempt to get a dig in at their expense.  I think we can agree that Google's home page is very simple.  That's one of their primary objectives, to keep the page as simple as possible.  Well, if it's so simple, it oughtta validate, right?  Wrong.  For what it's worth, Ask.Com's home page has 83 validation errors!

Everyone complains about IE's "quirks mode" and about other browsers that support sub-standard XHTML, but there's no choice in the matter until web developers start taking the few minutes to produce web pages that validate.

Posted on Wednesday, November 22, 2006 8:23 AM General | Back to top

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