Validating your web pages
Menu Validating your web pages

Validating your web pages

Using the W3C validator.

There are services that offer web design and W3C compliance but you can do this very easily for yourself.

Markup Validation Service

The method is to check each of pages against the validator before you request an index.

There many simple errors in formatting that can be determined at this stage and any corruptions of your original code can be identified before you make too many more changes to the page.

The validator is to be found on and they say:

" This tool is an ongoing experiment in better HTML checking, and its behavior remains subject to change "

There is supposedly a "legacy" validator, but this seems to be the one to use and the one that I use.

The proceedure that I follow it to use the validator to check my important pages when I can. If there are serious errors in my template code, and they do creep in, it is good to catch them before I have them on too many pages.


What I need to fix

Running my code through the W3C validator there are still some errors and warnings on some of the pages created from my old template file. Some of these are formating where I should be using CSS others are duplicate IDs.

I have fixed the Home and _template pages. There is now a p class on rdw.css to centre text in a paragraph.

I have no intention of fixing all of my current pages as they display as I want them even if they don't validate. All new pages should validate. As a matter of proceedure I will fix pages as I am documenting the RDW pages.

What I don't want to break

As I am "messing" with the main CSS file for the website I need to check that the Responsive Design is still working.

My proceedure to eliminate errors and messages reported by the validator

Make a single change to either the css file OR the html file, see what effect it has on the rendering and THEN upload to the server and re-check in the validator. Often one change breaks another!

The problem here is that I am changing STYLE directives in the html and in the css files. They are sometimes syntactically different.

Re-upload rwd.css (or the main css file) even though no changes were intended. There is a risk that just having the file open in the editor means that an odd character has been added by mistake. See my explanation page for some of the nuances of the css file.

The no-cache meta element needs to worked on

I am removing it for now. There is info on the web relating to getting a browser to fetch a new copy of a page in the case that it is expected that the page has changed.

2 br tags in unordered lists - I need a more elegant css solution to spacing in lists - site_map is a good example ot this.

The naming of spacer <div> tags

One of the useful things to come out of this validation process is that naming the spacer divs gives a good way of providing a destination for "relative" anchor tags
<a href=#"name"><a>

The Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group (WHATWG)

The Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group (WHATWG) is a community of people interested in evolving the web through standards and tests.

As I say in the menu item this all may be going a little "over-the-top". Who really cares if your code passes a comformance checker as long as it works and looks good on the devices that you have checked it? WHATWG are also working on a conformance checker, but currently use the W3C one.


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