Validation alone is not enough

Some people call me a validation fanatic, and maybe they are right. I do want every HTML document I create and all the sites I build to be valid and remain valid. Validation is an integral part of quality assurance to me, but an HTML document's validity does not tell the whole story about its quality (there are some examples in Worst code ever).

As Joe Dolson writes in Beyond Validation:

Validation, by itself, should never be considered as a primary signifier concerning the quality or accessibility of a website

For example, a CMS that is very popular in the Swedish public sector generates mostly valid markup. That may sound promising, but unfortunately the markup it produces is only valid HTML 4.01 Transitional, is absolutely jam-packed with inline CSS and JavaScript, and is severely lacking in semantics.

In comparison, a document that has a couple of minor errors when validated against a Strict doctype, but uses semantic markup and no inline CSS or JavaScript is much more in line with the true spirit of Web standards and accessibility.

Validation is very important. But validation alone is not enough.

Posted on February 16, 2007 in Quicklinks, Web Standards