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Is Dreamweaver 8's validator unreliable? I'm finding so..

 
 
xyZed
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      03-18-2006
I asked this question on the Dreamweaver site and despite adding a
second post it still lies dead in the water after several days with no
one caring to comment.

I have Dreamweaver 8 and it's set to validate XHTML 1.0 Transitional
but it misses lots of errors (compared to W3C validator)

For example (and this is only on one page) it hasn't picked up my
erroneous use of more than one "id" element, and missed a "end tag
for "img" omitted but OMITTAG NO was specified". Plus it misses a
"required attribute "alt" not specified" and even an extra </div>
where a div was never opened

I've been relying on dreamweaver's validator which is why so many
mistakes have crept in as I've modified, checked an uploaded. I just
wondered if it was known that Dreamweavers validator is useless? It's
supposed to be a professional tool.

--

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David Dorward
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      03-18-2006
xyZed wrote:

> I have Dreamweaver 8 and it's set to validate XHTML 1.0 Transitional
> but it misses lots of errors (compared to W3C validator)


Then it is broken.

> For example (and this is only on one page) it hasn't picked up my
> erroneous use of more than one "id" element,


I assume you mean the use of the same id on multiple elements? Ouch, nasty
bug.

> and missed a "end tag for "img" omitted but OMITTAG NO was specified".
> Plus it misses a "required attribute "alt" not specified" and even an
> extra </div> where a div was never opened


Certainly not a tool you can depend on then.

> I've been relying on dreamweaver's validator which is why so many
> mistakes have crept in as I've modified, checked an uploaded. I just
> wondered if it was known that Dreamweavers validator is useless?


It is now.

> It's supposed to be a professional tool.


So is Frontpage ...

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David Dorward <http://blog.dorward.me.uk/> <http://dorward.me.uk/>
Home is where the ~/.bashrc is
 
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Steve Pugh
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      03-18-2006
xyZed <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>I asked this question on the Dreamweaver site and despite adding a
>second post it still lies dead in the water after several days with no
>one caring to comment.
>
> I have Dreamweaver 8 and it's set to validate XHTML 1.0 Transitional
>but it misses lots of errors (compared to W3C validator)
>
>For example (and this is only on one page) it hasn't picked up my
>erroneous use of more than one "id" element, and missed a "end tag
>for "img" omitted but OMITTAG NO was specified". Plus it misses a
>"required attribute "alt" not specified" and even an extra </div>
>where a div was never opened
>
>I've been relying on dreamweaver's validator which is why so many
>mistakes have crept in as I've modified, checked an uploaded. I just
>wondered if it was known that Dreamweavers validator is useless? It's
>supposed to be a professional tool.


The "validator" in DW is not a validator in the strict SGML/XML sense
of the word. Instead it's a checker which checks some things that a
validator would also check but also checks some other things, and it
doesn't check everything that a validator would check.

It is also highly configurable and you can play with the settings to
make it check all sorts of stuff, or to ignore all sorts of other
stuff.

Use it as well as a proper validator. Don't rely on it alone.

Steve
--
"My theories appal you, my heresies outrage you,
I never answer letters and you don't like my tie." - The Doctor

Steve Pugh <(E-Mail Removed)> <http://steve.pugh.net/>
 
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Alan J. Flavell
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      03-18-2006
On Sat, 18 Mar 2006, xyZed wrote:

> I have Dreamweaver 8 and it's set to validate XHTML 1.0
> Transitional but it misses lots of errors (compared to W3C
> validator)


I'm not personally familiar with the details of DW. The term
"Validator" in an SGML/XML context has a very precise meaning, you
know, but is often abused.

I just searched for the term validator in conjunction with dreamweaver
8, and the only references I found seemed to be about an
"accessibility validator". That would seem to me to be doubly
misleading, since accessibility isn't something that can be
mechanically "validated" - but to pursue that might be a digression
away from what you're really interested in.

Are we really talking about the same thing?

> For example (and this is only on one page) it hasn't picked up my
> erroneous use of more than one "id" element, and missed a "end tag
> for "img" omitted but OMITTAG NO was specified". Plus it misses a
> "required attribute "alt" not specified" and even an extra </div>
> where a div was never opened


If this claims to be an HTML validator (in the technical sense), then
on your evidence it has to be a lie.

> I've been relying on dreamweaver's validator which is why so many
> mistakes have crept in as I've modified, checked an uploaded. I just
> wondered if it was known that Dreamweavers validator is useless?


It may well be that, like the improperly-named CSE "validator", it
carries out some useful checks - if only one knows what those checks
are - and what are their limitations.

> It's supposed to be a professional tool.


Most "professional" web pages are invalid HTML, you know. Some of us
think this is a bad idea, however (quite apart from it being a WAI
violation in itself).

The mere fact that you use tool X to compose your pages, does not rule
out the possibility of using tools Y and Z to check the quality of the
result in various ways, if you so choose. In fact, I'd recommend it,
since, if tool X can't or won't produce valid HTML, what possible
guarantee could you get that an HTML verifier from the same house
would be able to reveal its faults?

Certainly my colleague who makes pages with DW does not omit to submit
them to the W3C validator, as well as to their CSS checker, and repair
the results; as well as to a third party accessibility verifier, and
giving due consideration to its alerts. If working on a larger scale,
one can install this or equivalent software locally.

While researching this reply to you, google suggested
http://forum.joomla.org/index.php?topic=11583.msg81830
But that was about the DW *accessibility* so-called *validator*, not
an HTML syntax validator, so this may or may not be what you're on
about.

hth
 
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Neredbojias
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      03-18-2006
With neither quill nor qualm, xyZed quothed:

> I asked this question on the Dreamweaver site and despite adding a
> second post it still lies dead in the water after several days with no
> one caring to comment.
>
> I have Dreamweaver 8 and it's set to validate XHTML 1.0 Transitional
> but it misses lots of errors (compared to W3C validator)
>
> For example (and this is only on one page) it hasn't picked up my
> erroneous use of more than one "id" element, and missed a "end tag
> for "img" omitted but OMITTAG NO was specified". Plus it misses a
> "required attribute "alt" not specified" and even an extra </div>
> where a div was never opened
>
> I've been relying on dreamweaver's validator which is why so many
> mistakes have crept in as I've modified, checked an uploaded. I just
> wondered if it was known that Dreamweavers validator is useless? It's
> supposed to be a professional tool.


It's the same in politics. If you know what you can (truthfully) say
isn't what the people want to hear, you don't say anything at all. Or
you lie.

--
Neredbojias
Contrary to popular belief, it is believable.
 
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Beauregard T. Shagnasty
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      03-18-2006
xyZed wrote:

> I have Dreamweaver 8 and it's set to validate XHTML 1.0 Transitional


Are these new documents? If so, they should be Strict, rather than
Transitional, which is for converting (transitioning <g>) old legacy
documents that have bits you can't change for one reason or another.

Whether you use XHTML 1.0 or HTML 4.0, I will leave for others to
discuss.

--
-bts
-Warning: I brake for lawn deer
 
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xyZed
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      03-18-2006
There is circumstantial evidence that on Sat, 18 Mar 2006 14:54:56
GMT, "Beauregard T. Shagnasty" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote
__________________________________________________ _____

>› xyZed wrote:
>›
>› > I have Dreamweaver 8 and it's set to validate XHTML 1.0 Transitional
>›
>› Are these new documents? If so, they should be Strict, rather than
>› Transitional, which is for converting (transitioning <g>) old legacy
>› documents that have bits you can't change for one reason or another.
>›
>› Whether you use XHTML 1.0 or HTML 4.0, I will leave for others to
>› discuss.


Thanks for all the replies. The Dreamweaver newsgroup weren't
interested for some reason. The Dreamweaver option is, "check
page/validate markup" which implies it will validate markup but it is
a useless tool in my experience unless there is some setting needing
adjusting. It does pick up some errors but lots of obvious ones go
unchecked.

I was writing all my markup in XHTML 1.0 strict but was bothered by
the fact it wouldn't allow me to open affiliate sites in a separate
window. I know it's potentially contentious, but I really think if
someone clicks a link which goes to a different site I would prefer
them to do so in a fresh window. Even as I type it, it sounds a bit
dictatorial though

Other than the opening of links with target="_blank" my pages
validated with XHTML strict (apart from the useless affiliate
javascript links which is another post) Should I seriously consider
switching to strict?



--

Free washing machine help and advice.

www.washerhelp.co.uk

www.xyzed.co.uk/newsgroups/top-posting.html
 
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David Dorward
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      03-18-2006
xyZed wrote:

> I was writing all my markup in XHTML 1.0 strict but was bothered by
> the fact it wouldn't allow me to open affiliate sites in a separate
> window. I know it's potentially contentious, but I really think if
> someone clicks a link which goes to a different site I would prefer
> them to do so in a fresh window. Even as I type it, it sounds a bit
> dictatorial though


It is. Most browsers have options to let a user open a link in a new window
or tab (usually by middle clicking it) when they choose to. Likewise, most
browsers display the target URL in the status bar, so the user can glance
at that and see that the link goes to an external site (if that is a factor
in their decision).

Most browsers won't inform the user that the author wants the link to open
in a new window, and I'm now aware of any which allow the user to
selectively disable such hints.

Should a new window be opened, then it is not uncommon for both the original
and new window to be maximised. This means that it isn't obvious that a new
window has opened. The only clue is that the back button doesn't work. I've
seen mention (no, I haven't got the references to hand) of studies which
show a strong tenancy for users to give up, type another URL in the address
bar and carry on. Then, when they finish, they close their window, discover
another window underneath go "Oh, that's what happened to that site", and
close that window too since they've finished.

> Other than the opening of links with target="_blank" my pages
> validated with XHTML strict (apart from the useless affiliate
> javascript links which is another post) Should I seriously consider
> switching to strict?


Yes.

--
David Dorward <http://blog.dorward.me.uk/> <http://dorward.me.uk/>
Home is where the ~/.bashrc is
 
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Alan J. Flavell
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      03-18-2006
On Sat, 18 Mar 2006, xyZed wrote:

> There is circumstantial evidence that on Sat, 18 Mar 2006 14:54:56
> GMT, "Beauregard T. Shagnasty" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote


> > W›Whether you use XHTML 1.0 or HTML 4.0, I will leave for otherto
> > discuss.


HTML/4.01 rather than 4.0, hmmm?

> I was writing all my markup in XHTML 1.0 strict but was bothered by
> the fact it wouldn't allow me to open affiliate sites in a separate
> window. I know it's potentially contentious,


If that's your only reason for using "transitional", then I would find
it annoying - except on browsers which have the option for me to
defeat it

Of course, I'm hardly a typical web reader; but there are lots of
other reports of ordinary folk being annoyed or confused by the
throwing of a new window. Indeed for someone who is low on resources,
the throwing of a new window *could* crash their browser, hang their
operating system, etc., so maybe it's nicer to leave the decision to
them. There are less harmful ways to signal that some links are
internal to your enterprise whereas others are external, if you feel
that this is important to you. The BBC (to take one example) seems
quite capable of opening web sites for which "The BBC is not
responsible...", without feeling the need to break my browser's Back
function. I'm looking at news.bbc.co.uk in this specific example.

> Other than the opening of links with target="_blank" my pages
> validated with XHTML strict (apart from the useless affiliate
> javascript links which is another post)


You mean inlined JS ? That would seem to be a problem, especially if
they insist on using invalid syntax (I mean, "insist" to the point of
refusing payment if one corrects their syntax errors).

But, that issue aside, inlined JS is less of a problem in HTML syntax
than in XHTML; and anyway should not be relevant to your *other*
choice, of strict versus transitional.

> Should I seriously consider switching to strict?


I can't tell you what you *should* do, but I've been steadily adapting
my own legacy pages to strict. Except for the ones which offer
samples of legacy markup for tutorial purposes, that is :-}

As far as I'm concerned, though, the browsers that are out there are
still somewhat more tuned to HTML than to XHTML, so I've made my
choice (for now) accordingly.

Hardly any of what passes for XHMTL on the web today would be really
fit to offer as real XHTML, though. So, the fact that one sees
increasing amounts of what purports to be XHTML need not make anyone
despondent about the status of HTML. On the other hand, it certainly
*should* make them despondent about the status of XHTML - as Hixie's
well known rant also points out, in its own way.
 
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Beauregard T. Shagnasty
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      03-18-2006
Alan J. Flavell wrote:

>> There is circumstantial evidence that on Sat, 18 Mar 2006 14:54:56
>> GMT, "Beauregard T. Shagnasty" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote

>
>>> W›Whether you use XHTML 1.0 or HTML 4.0, I will leave for otherto
>>> discuss.

>
> HTML/4.01 rather than 4.0, hmmm?


But of course. I found a crumb of hobnob stuck under the <oomph> the
.... One key.

(I know I stabbed at it with the left pinkie...)

--
-bts
-Warning: I brake for lawn deer
 
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