Call for HTML testing service

Daniel W. Connolly (
Fri, 10 Feb 95 13:04:27 EST

When I started the whole HTML 2.0 thing back in May of '94, I had
intended to build a conformance test suite pronto. Unfortunately, to
this date, I have mustered very little resource in that direction.

(What I have is at:
but it's pretty sparse and out of date).

The validation service has provided a lot of valuable testing
experience, but due to privacy concerns and a general lack of
resources, I don't have much data to show for it (and the data I have
is mostly mail messages which I'd have to reduce to a usable form or
get permission to release them as-is.)

For example: wouldn't it be nice if I had a log of the common errors
that folks find? I would think such a thing would be very valuable
to folks writing books or other documentation on HTML, not to
mention implementors.

I have noticed that other folks have mustered the resources to put
together some very nice testing facilities (the forms testing facility
by ??? comes to mind) and I am hoping that someone can take the ideas
in the HTML validation service and turn them into such a nice testing

My service is sort of aimed at authors who want to check their work
and learn some stuff (the service really needs work in the area of
error messages, documentation, and allowing for easier feedback).
And I barely have resources to maintain it.

A testing service would have a different slant: it would be
technically oriented. Folks would know in advance that the data
they're submitting might go into a publicly available test suite
(though explicit confirmation should be part of the submission

My service offers validation against level 0, 1, and 2 of HTML, with
"Strict" mode optional. There's a little support for a draft of HTML 3
and a DTD I cooked up for the netscape extensions, but it's weak.

By the way: somebody (at SoftQuad, I think) sent me a cleaned
up version of my Mozilla DTD, and I've since lost it.
Care to try again?

The focus of this testing facility would be specific gotcha's that
should be NOTE:s in the HTML 2.x draft, plus experimentation with the

It might offer the latest HTML 2.x DTD, plus any number of proposed
HTML 2.x extensions (like testing for the file upload syntax and),
plus the proposed HTML 3.x DTD(s).

Maybe the service would even have a "put your DTD fragment here"

I fear that a lot of implementors are messing around with HTML syntax
extensions without much SGML experience. This would be a way to
quickly gain working knowledge of SGML. (The service should have links
to SGML info such as the TEI materials, comp.text.sgml, etc.)

Plus, it will provide immediate feedback on proposals, and a
collection of test data that we can used to build a conformance test

Volunteers? Suggestions?