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Re: very very sad: most browsers are broken :(

 
 
Bruce Grubb
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Posts: n/a
 
      04-18-2004
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
Gregory Weston <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
> Bruce Grubb <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
> > In article <170420040759517445%(E-Mail Removed)>,
> > Thomas Reed <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> >
> > > In article <(E-Mail Removed)-berlin.de>, Joe Doe
> > > <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> > >
> > > > PS: The validator page itself http://validator.w3.org returns 9 errors
> > > > about its own html code. "But I read it in the paper!..."
> > >
> > > A validator really gives you very little useful information except
> > > whether your page conforms to standards. Since almost all web browsers
> > > render non-standard pages, this is not useful information, IMHO.

> >
> > Actually it is VERY useful information as by going to the standard rather
> > than some browser glitches make is more likely (though not certain) that
> > the thing to be read correctly by a 4.01 complient browser you have not
> > even heard of.

>
> A problem arises, however, if an exceedingly popular browser does not
> render correct HTML in a worthwhile fashion.


Now what 'exceedingly popular browser' does this? Remember HTML is NOT a
page layout format (that is what PDF is for) so a specific layout does NOT
count.

Back in the "who uses virtual pc for testing webpages" thread in alt. html
and comp.infosystems.www.authoring some months back the only examples
people could provide fell into several categories:


1) Browser detection crap (javascript, java, etc)

2) Minor display hiccups (HTML is NOT a page layout format people)

3) NONstandard (ie broswer specific) garbage like conditional comments.

4) Purposely constructed scripts designed to cause problems.

In short short of display and some CSS issues you actually have to WORK to
cause problems with 'valid' HTML. I should note that strickly speaking
validators will call nonstandard crap like conditional comments 'valid' but
it you read ALL the specs (appendix as well) you realize that they are
nonstandard.
 
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Gregory Weston
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Posts: n/a
 
      04-18-2004
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
Bruce Grubb <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
> Gregory Weston <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
> > In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
> > Bruce Grubb <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> >
> > > In article <170420040759517445%(E-Mail Removed)>,
> > > Thomas Reed <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> > >
> > > > In article <(E-Mail Removed)-berlin.de>, Joe Doe
> > > > <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> > > >
> > > > > PS: The validator page itself http://validator.w3.org returns 9 errors
> > > > > about its own html code. "But I read it in the paper!..."
> > > >
> > > > A validator really gives you very little useful information except
> > > > whether your page conforms to standards. Since almost all web browsers
> > > > render non-standard pages, this is not useful information, IMHO.
> > >
> > > Actually it is VERY useful information as by going to the standard rather
> > > than some browser glitches make is more likely (though not certain) that
> > > the thing to be read correctly by a 4.01 complient browser you have not
> > > even heard of.

> >
> > A problem arises, however, if an exceedingly popular browser does not
> > render correct HTML in a worthwhile fashion.

>
> Now what 'exceedingly popular browser' does this? Remember HTML is NOT a
> page layout format (that is what PDF is for) so a specific layout does NOT
> count.


a) The comment was provided as an abstract.

b) Several versions of IE have had problems with various bits of markup.

> In short short of display and some CSS issues you actually have to WORK to
> cause problems with 'valid' HTML.


Um. Wouldn't "display problems" be a shorter way of saying "does not
render correct HTML in a worthwhile fashion?"

--
Standard output is like your butt. Everyone has one. When using a bathroom,
they all default to going into a toilet. However, a person can redirect his
"standard output" to somewhere else, if he so chooses. - Jeremy Nixon
 
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Bruce Grubb
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Posts: n/a
 
      04-20-2004
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
Gregory Weston <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
> Bruce Grubb <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
> > In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
> > Gregory Weston <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> >
> > > In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
> > > Bruce Grubb <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> > >
> > > > In article <170420040759517445%(E-Mail Removed)>,
> > > > Thomas Reed <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> > > >
> > > > > In article <(E-Mail Removed)-berlin.de>, Joe Doe
> > > > > <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> > > > >
> > > > > > PS: The validator page itself http://validator.w3.org returns 9
> > > > > > errors
> > > > > > about its own html code. "But I read it in the paper!..."
> > > > >
> > > > > A validator really gives you very little useful information except
> > > > > whether your page conforms to standards. Since almost all web
> > > > > browsers render non-standard pages, this is not useful
> > > > > information, IMHO.
> > > >
> > > > Actually it is VERY useful information as by going to the standard
> > > > rather than some browser glitches make is more likely (though
> > > > not certain) that the thing to be read correctly by a 4.01 complient
> > > > browser you have not even heard of.
> > >
> > > A problem arises, however, if an exceedingly popular browser does not
> > > render correct HTML in a worthwhile fashion.

> >
> > Now what 'exceedingly popular browser' does this? Remember HTML is NOT a
> > page layout format (that is what PDF is for) so a specific layout does NOT
> > count.

>
> a) The comment was provided as an abstract.
>
> b) Several versions of IE have had problems with various bits of markup.


All of which are what by reading the specs were NONstandard. One of the
counter arguments has been standard code has far less chance of doing
something stupid than nonstandard crap.

> > In short short of display and some CSS issues you actually have to WORK to
> > cause problems with 'valid' HTML.

>
> Um. Wouldn't "display problems" be a shorter way of saying "does not
> render correct HTML in a worthwhile fashion?"


No because 'valid' HMTL is more than just shoving the page at a Validator
and getting no errors. Each HTML spec (2.0, 3.2, 4.01) have certain
guidelines that need to followed in addition to simple Validation.

Take the example page given "who uses virtual pc for testing webpages"

<http://www.goddamn.co.uk/tobyink/scratch/example>

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 3.2//EN">
<title>Example</title>
<body><!--[if gte IE 5]><input type example><![endif]--></body>

Which validates BUT if you read the HTML 4.01 spec you find out it is NOT
valid HTML. Why? Because HMTL 4.01 supersedes HTML 3.2 and HTML 2.0 and
defines script as follows:

It was that as well lamblasting the use of conditional comments. By the
defintions HTML 4.01 lays out conditional comments ARE scripts:

"a program that may accompany an HTML document or be embedded directly in
it. The program executes on the client's machine when the document loads,
or at some other time such as when a link is activated. HTML's support for
scripts is independent of the scripting language."
<http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/interact/scripts.html#h-18.1>

Conditional Comments are simply a MS was of doing scripts by NOT following
the guidelines and here syllogism (Aristotlian logic) that proves it:

1) a program that 'executes' on the client's machine when the
document loads is a script (defined in HTML4.01 section 1

2) conditional comments are commented out commands that
execute on the client's machine when the document
is load by a IE browser.

3) ergo conditional comments ARE scripts reguardless of
how those who write IE browser supported pages want to handwave it.

Conditional comments validate simply because under HTML 3.2 there are not
supposed to be scripts in ANY form and treats the thing as a comment per
the spec. Its when IE tries to treat the thing as a script that the
problems occur.

Also if that was not bad enough there is this warning in the HTML4.01 spec:

"Some browsers close comments on the first ">" character, so to hide script
content from such browsers, you can transpose operands for relational and
shift operators (e.g., use "y < x" rather than "x > y") or use scripting
language-dependent escapes for ">"."
< http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/interact/scripts.html>

Which explains why the above causes some versions of IE to crash.

Here is what I said in that thread aobut doing this type of stuff:

If it is a commented out element or the like remove the comments and see if
the thing still validates; if not then rewrite the thing. Improper
displaying of elements is not a problem as HTML is NOT nor NEVER will be a
page markup format.

Sure you can write infinate loops in any thing HTML calls to and it will
validate (but will likly cause problems) but that is not the validator's
fault.

Validators like HTML authoring program are tools and like any tool they do
require a little use of common sence. Would you use a wrench to hammer a
nail; sure you could use it that way but why unless you absolutely had to?

The same question goes in regards to commented out invalid tags, infinate
loops, and browser specific crap. Is there a reason it is there other than
'I want to show that I can write something that validates but will cause
some browsers to crash' or 'I don't give a flying flip what the WWW uses
they *must* use browser 'x' version 1.0.1'?

If there is there is no reason that such junk is there other than an ego
trip jolly fest than there is NO valid reason for it to be there.

Also not all validators are created equal. Some like the one at
webpagesthatsuck <http://www.webpagesthatsuck.com/> are designed to not
only validate tot he specs but to look for browser specific crap.
 
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Spartanicus
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Posts: n/a
 
      04-20-2004
Bruce Grubb <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>'valid' HMTL is more than just shoving the page at a Validator
>and getting no errors.


Incorrect, valid means just that, nothing more, nothing less. It's just
that validity doesn't mean that much.

>Also not all validators are created equal.


They are, or they are not validators.

--
Spartanicus
 
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Toby A Inkster
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      04-20-2004
Bruce Grubb wrote:

> All of which are what by reading the specs were NONstandard. One of the
> counter arguments has been standard code has far less chance of doing
> something stupid than nonstandard crap.


That I have certainly never disputed.

> No because 'valid' HMTL is more than just shoving the page at a Validator
> and getting no errors.


No -- you're confusing "valid HTML" with "good HTML". "Good HTML" is more
than just shoving the page at a Validator and getting no errors. Shoving
the page at a Validator and getting no errors is perfectly sufficient for
valid HTML.

> <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 3.2//EN">
> <title>Example</title>
> <body><!--[if gte IE 5]><input type example><![endif]--></body>
>
> Which validates BUT if you read the HTML 4.01 spec you find out it is NOT
> valid HTML. Why? Because HMTL 4.01 supersedes HTML 3.2 and HTML 2.0 and


HTML 4.01 is a later standard, though HTML 3.2 and 2.0 are not obsoleted
by it.

Arguably HTML 2.0 is more of a standard than HTML 4.01 is: HTML 2.0 is an
Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Standard whereas HTML 4.01 is only
a W3C Recommendation.

> defines script as follows:


Who cares? For the last time, THE EXAMPLE ABOVE DOES NOT CONTAIN ANY
SCRIPT DATA!

> Conditional Comments are simply a MS was of doing scripts by NOT
> following the guidelines and here syllogism (Aristotlian logic) that
> proves it:
>
> 1) a program that 'executes' on the client's machine when the
> document loads is a script (defined in HTML4.01 section 1


Agreed.

> 2) conditional comments are commented out commands that
> execute on the client's machine when the document is load by a IE
> browser.


Refuted. Conditional comments do not "execute".

> 3) ergo conditional comments ARE scripts reguardless of
> how those who write IE browser supported pages want to handwave it.


Based on a false assumption in #2.

> Conditional comments validate simply because under HTML 3.2 there are
> not supposed to be scripts


They also validate under HTML 2.0, HTML 4.01, XHTML 1.0, XHTML 1.1 and
provisional drafts of XHTML 2.0, four of which are allowed to contain
scripts (not that scripting has any bearing on this case).

> "Some browsers close comments on the first ">" character, so to hide
> script content from such browsers, you can transpose operands for
> relational and shift operators (e.g., use "y < x" rather than "x > y")
> or use scripting language-dependent escapes for ">"." <
> http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/interact/scripts.html>
>
> Which explains why the above causes some versions of IE to crash.


No it doesn't. The crash is cause by the following few bytes alone:

<input type example>

The conditional comment is just used to force it to validate.

> 'I want to show that I can write something that
> validates but will cause some browsers to crash'


My example was made entirely to prove that exact point.

However, some people refuse to accept it in the face of irrefutable facts.

> Also not all validators are created equal. Some like the one at
> webpagesthatsuck <http://www.webpagesthatsuck.com/> are designed to not
> only validate tot he specs but to look for browser specific crap.


Then they're not validators -- they're linters or what have you.

*plonk*

--
Toby A Inkster BSc (Hons) ARCS
Contact Me - http://www.goddamn.co.uk/tobyink/?page=132

 
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C A Upsdell
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      04-20-2004
"Spartanicus" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) anicus.utvinternet.ie...
> Bruce Grubb <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
> >'valid' HMTL is more than just shoving the page at a Validator
> >and getting no errors.

>
> Incorrect, valid means just that, nothing more, nothing less. It's just
> that validity doesn't mean that much.


Validity means three things: fewer surprises; less time debugging; and one
less place to look if pages don't work.

> >Also not all validators are created equal.

>
> They are, or they are not validators.


Some have clearer error messages.



 
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Barry Margolin
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      04-20-2004
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
Toby A Inkster <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> > No because 'valid' HMTL is more than just shoving the page at a Validator
> > and getting no errors.

>
> No -- you're confusing "valid HTML" with "good HTML". "Good HTML" is more
> than just shoving the page at a Validator and getting no errors. Shoving
> the page at a Validator and getting no errors is perfectly sufficient for
> valid HTML.


Most languages, and I doubt HTML is an exception (especially when
scripting is involved), have both static and dynamic validity
requirements. Validators can generally only check the static features
of the page, and perhaps use some heuristics to try to check for some
dynamic errors.

Also, the validator programmer may not have thought to check for all the
possible errors that can appear.

Assuming that a page that successfully passes a validator is truly valid
would be like assuming that a C program that compiles with no errors is
bug-free.

--
Barry Margolin, http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed)
Arlington, MA
 
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Brendan Taylor
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      04-20-2004
On Tue, 20 Apr 2004 17:24:59 -0400, Barry Margolin wrote:

> Most languages, and I doubt HTML is an exception (especially when
> scripting is involved), have both static and dynamic validity
> requirements. Validators can generally only check the static features
> of the page, and perhaps use some heuristics to try to check for some
> dynamic errors.


I don't know what version of HTML you're using, but mine doesn't have any
dynamic elements.
 
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Barry Margolin
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Posts: n/a
 
      04-21-2004
In article <ozhhc.179115$Pk3.163855@pd7tw1no>,
Brendan Taylor <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> On Tue, 20 Apr 2004 17:24:59 -0400, Barry Margolin wrote:
>
> > Most languages, and I doubt HTML is an exception (especially when
> > scripting is involved), have both static and dynamic validity
> > requirements. Validators can generally only check the static features
> > of the page, and perhaps use some heuristics to try to check for some
> > dynamic errors.

>
> I don't know what version of HTML you're using, but mine doesn't have any
> dynamic elements.


Even when there are scripts in the HTML?

--
Barry Margolin, (E-Mail Removed)
Arlington, MA
 
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Mark Parnell
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      04-21-2004
On Wed, 21 Apr 2004 00:07:57 -0400, Barry Margolin <(E-Mail Removed)>
declared in alt.html,comp.sys.mac.apps:

> Even when there are scripts in the HTML?


There aren't scripts in any HTML. There is a script element that allows
you to embed scripts, which are written in languages other than HTML.
HTML is a markup language - it cannot _do_ anything. It just describes
the structure of the document.

--
Mark Parnell
http://www.clarkecomputers.com.au
 
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