By Simon Willison

W3C Validator Update

By Simon Willison

The W3C Markup Validator is a powerful tool for checking that your XHTML or HTML is free of errors. Unfortunately, it suffers from extremely unfriendly error messages which can make it hard for newcomers to validation to understand the problems with their markup. The team behind the validator released a brand new version yesterday which incorporates a number of improvements that have previously been trialled in beta releases (changelog here).

The most useful feature of the validator, at least for new users, is “verbose mode”, which adds detailed human-readable explanations to every validation error. Unfortunately, verbose mode is not enabled by default and must instead be enabled using the Advanced Interface. Personally I would like to see this option available from the main page as it dramatically increases the usability of the validation results.


  • Augustus

    I quite agree that the default should allow verbose settings. But there again shouldn’t the advanced options be default anyway? I can’t see why there is a need to have two sets of options. I would think that even the beginner to web design etc should be able to get their heads around the options on the advanced page as they must obviously be clued up by designing in the first place and then getting to a stage of validating.

    Still, that’s only my own point of view and others may agree to disagree.


  • I enjoyed the fresh design to such a dry site.
    Loved the trees and sky at the top with the bannana skin at the foot.

    Do ya think they’re tryin t’say somethin?


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