Valid HTML is important for future compatibility

Slashdot | Hand-Codes HTML & CSS

Re:W3C (Score:5, Informative)

by Bogtha (906264) on Wednesday April 30, @12:02AM (#23248150)

fix whiney warnings that have no real world effect?

I knew somebody would pop up with this misconception. Did you know that the web has already been through this — not once but twice — and proven you wrong?

Netscape 2 was quite aggressive when it came to guessing when ampersands were mistakenly unencoded. Cue lots of people not bothering to do things correctly, and saying things exactly like you are — “What’s the point? It makes no difference!”

Then Netscape 3 came out. It wasn’t as aggressive as Netscape 2. All those people who cut corners had to rush to fix all of their pages. All the people who did it correctly the first time around didn’t have to do any extra work.

Now Netscape 3 still guessed a little bit — if you left off the semicolon, it would pick up on it and guess correctly. So lots of the dumb people from the previous example didn’t learn their lesson, and skipped the semicolon.

Can you guess what happened? Yep, that’s right, Netscape 4 came out and broke all their pages again. And all the people who did things correctly laughed at them.

Sure, if you don’t bother to do things right, today’s major browsers will probably guess that you’re an idiot and work around your bugs. But there’s certainly no guarantee that tomorrow’s browsers will do so. When you can do things correctly right now for no effort, why on earth would you risk incurring extra work in the future? Is it really so difficult to type & instead of &?

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