HTML and CSS Reference
In-Depth Information
movers and shakers at the W3C, it automates a significant amount of
the work required to convert HTML documents into XHTML.
While Tidy's capabilities are too varied and wonderful to be fully listed
here, we can at least assure you that Tidy can detect and correct case
conversion, quoted attributes, and proper element nesting. For the com-
plete list of features and the latest version of Tidy for various computing
platforms, visit .
16.5.3. Lenient Browsers and Lazy Authors
There is a good rule of thumb regarding data sharing, especially on the
Internet: be lenient in what you accept and strict in what you produce.
This is a not a commentary on social policy, but rather a pragmatic ad-
monition to tolerate ambiguity and errors in data you receive while mak-
ing sure that anything you send is scrupulously correct.
Web browsers are good examples of lenient acceptors. Most current web
pages have some sort of error in them, albeit often just an error of omis-
sion. Nonetheless, browsers accept the error and present a reasonable
document to the user. This leniency lets authors get away with all sorts
of things, often without even knowing they've made a mistake.
Most authors stop developing a page when it looks good and works the
way they want it to. Very few take the time to run their pages through
the various HTML-compliance tools to catch potential errors. Many of
those who do try to test for compliance are so overwhelmed by the num-
ber of minor errors they have committed that they simply give up and
continue to create bad pages that can be handled by good browsers.
Because the number of bad pages continues to grow, browsers cannot
afford to start being strict. Any browser that tried to enforce even the
most basic rules of the HTML standard would be abandoned by users
who want to see web pages, not error messages. A vicious cycle en-
sues: bad pages force the use of lenient browsers, which encourage the
creation of more bad pages. Break the cycle by vowing to create only
XHTML-compliant content whenever you can.
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