Invalid Markup Ain’t So Bad

By Deane Barker on June 6, 2008

Thought experiment: Mark Pilgrim goes on a quick rant about how having Web clients demand valid XHTML is a bad idea.

The client is the wrong place to enforce data integrity. It’s just the wrong place. I hear otherwise intelligent people claim that “if everyone did it, it would be okay.” No, if everyone did it, it would be even worse. If you want to do it, of course I can’t stop you. But think about who it will hurt.

He illustrates with a good story about a problem Nick Bradbury had related to it. It’s worth reading.

I agree with with him. In fact, I wrote this almost exactly four years ago.

But, in an even larger sense, does validation matter much? I’ve never gotten any comment from anyone about the validation of this site. So what that I’m throwing 50 errors because of ampersands in URLs — can someone provide me with a valid (excuse the pun) reason why this matters?

I understand problems can occur from gross misuse of the HTML spec, but are all validation errors created equal? My apparent misuse of ampersands has got to rank pretty low on the sin list.

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