Making Peace with the W3C in the YouTube Age

w3cYears ago, in the pre-YouTube era, I was pretty stubborn with my HTML and CSS. It simply had to validate with the W3C or I wouldn't publish it. Here's an entry I wrote exactly six years ago today.

I'm proud to declare that all pages within torontomike.com conform to the W3C XHTML 1.0 standard. That means these web pages are now full-fledged XML documents, which can be validated using any XML parser. Go ahead and click that XHTML 1.0 logo to the left and see for yourself.

The Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) used for torontomike.com have also been validated by the W3C's CSS2 standard. You're welcome to click that CSS logo to the left for proof. Impressed?

In a previous blog entry (see August 25, 2003 / 16:03 EST), I ranted and raved about my attempts to validate my HTML 4.01 code for torontomike.com. HTML 4.01 was the standard before XHTML 1.0. The future, it seems, is XML and since XHTML is XML-based, and ultimately designed to work in conjunction with XML-based user agents, it was really the only way to go as I saw it. I promise future blog entries will be slightly less boring.

That was then, this is now. Although I still hand-code my XHTML and CSS, and I always do my best to write well-formed, valid code that would make the W3C proud, I no longer care if I validate. That's because I know I can't validate and blog in the YouTube age.

Every time I embed a video from YouTube, I'm simply copying down their code. Their code is totally invalid. There are several errors:

  • reference to entity "fs" for which no system identifier could be generated
  • reference to entity "feature" for which no system identifier could be generated
  • reference to entity "hl" for which no system identifier could be generated
  • reference to entity "color1" for which no system identifier could be generated
  • reference to entity "color2" for which no system identifier could be generated
  • general entity "feature" not defined and no default entity
  • many, many more

There are also several warnings. The W3C rejects YouTube's embed code as invalid, but the browsers don't seem to care. If it displays properly and works, does it really matter if it validates?

The answer, I've decided, is no. It no longer matters if your XHTML and CSS validates with the W3C because, at the end of the day, you're the only person who gives a shit.

I've made my peace with the W3C in this YouTube age. I'm invalid, and that's okay.


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Comments (6 - click here to join in!)

Steve

As a blind person I definitely appreciate your efforts to make your site comply with standards. Some of them are pretty strict and for sure validating is next to impossible, but not everything that doesn't validate is wrong.

September 26, 2009 @ 10:29 AM

Romy

My head just exploded...

September 26, 2009 @ 1:55 PM

Gary

Another in a long line of...WHO CARES!...entries.

September 26, 2009 @ 5:12 PM

Ajax Mike

Uh... Toronto Mike does? That's kinda why it's his blog.

September 26, 2009 @ 10:45 PM

Buffaloboymike

Mike, that went way over my head, I need to take a computer class or two

September 27, 2009 @ 2:46 PM

The_Voice

I thought we were getting closer and closer to being compliant after years of IE dominance negated that.

September 28, 2009 @ 11:12 AM

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