21 July 2008 - 11:14amValidation

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Today I decided to run my homepage through the W3C’s Validator. I found a couple errors (ampersands in URLs that needed to be converted to entity references and also some bugs in the way WordPress formats a post with misplaced <p> tags). I fixed them quick and then added the provided badge thing to my sidebar.

Then I was reading this article by Jeff Atwood on his blog, “Coding Horror,” in which he mentions that Google’s homepage has 63 validation errors. I think I did it once before, but just for kicks I decided to run Google through the validator to see how it’s doing these days. Check it out for yourself.

Now, considering the fact that Google employs some of the smartest people in the world, why on earth can they not manage to include a DOCTYPE at the beginning of their page?

Moving past that issue and manually selecting a DOCTYPE from the dropdown yields far less than satisfying results. What could you possibly be doing on such a simple page that you end up with 180 errors? Get one of your geniuses to fix them real quick. By the looks of the errors it would only take about an hour or so. I’ll even do it for you.

Does anyone else think that’s ridiculous?

2 Comments | Categories: COSI, General


  1. I read a few similar articles a while back. A few theories were proposed including “to save bandwidth” (which is completely ridiculous[1]) and “compatibility”.

    I tend to agree with the second theory; try finding a browser that doesn’t render google’s homepage properly. Personally, I haven’t found one.

    I support use of valid code, but if there weren’t a good reason for the errors, I imagine someone would have used a day of their 20-percent time[2] to fix them.

    “why on earth can they not manage to include a DOCTYPE at the beginning of their page?”
    The most common reason (ignorance and stupidity aside) to omit a doctype that I can think of would be to put browsers in quirks mode[3].


    1 – http://www.456bereastreet.com/archive/200608/google_valid_and_strict/
    2 – http://www.google.com/support/jobs/bin/static.py?page=about.html&about=eng
    3 -http://www.quirksmode.org/css/quirksmode.html

  2. Justin says;
    22 Jul 2008 - 5:59pm |

    Ah, a comment from the great Zach Shepherd himself! Haven’t talked to you in some time.

    You bring up good points and perhaps there are reasons behind the errors (though some of them don’t seem like there could be). The quirks mode idea is a good one though, that would make the most sense (I doubt many of the people at Google are ignorant).

    Thanks for reading Zach!

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