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May 7, 2003

I Came, I Saw, I Validated

Evan’s little essay has exploded like a cluster bomb on the geeky end of the blogosphere. It, and the more general question of whether and why XHTML is so hard and what to do about it, are being discussed and debated here and here and here and here and here and here and yeastily here.

Anyway, having fixed my RSS-syndicated blogroll and my comment-entries it’s become clear that the next step is to get auto-validation for posting. Since I use Kung-Log, the natural thing to ask for is an extension to MovableType’s XML-RPC API. I want an mt.validatePost method whose parameters are basically the same as MovableType’s extension to metaWeblog.newPost, and whose return value is:

Return Value: on success, an array of structs containing boolean isValid, string validatorOutput; on failure, fault.

The method should go through all the steps of creating an individual archive page containing the post (actually, any page will do; the key is to apply all the processing — text filters, etc. — which would normally be applied to the post) but, instead of publishing it, pass the resulting page to the Validator (perhaps a local copy, à la Alexei’s plugin), and return the result.

If we package it up real nice, maybe Adriaan will support it.

LazyWeb, I invoke Thee!

Posted by distler at May 7, 2003 11:09 AM

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Re: I Came, I Saw, I Validated

A couple of points: Your comment popup seems to be invalid (it gave me an XML error in Mozilla so I’m writing this in IE) and you’re still serving a meta tag specifying text/html as the content type (a mistake I was making as well until about 5 minutes ago).

I love your nested list / CSS Recent Entries thing by the way.



Posted by: Simon Willison on May 8, 2003 6:07 AM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: I Came, I Saw, I Validated

If you can reproduce the error, please do a “View Source” in Mozilla and send me the result.

I thought I had squashed all instances of the Validator sending out ill-formed XHTML. Perhaps I missed a case.

As to the <meta> tag, Most browsers do get text/html. I’m sending out static pages (and am unwilling to change that), so I don’t really know how to “fix” this, except by omitting the <meta> tag entirely.

Perhaps that’s what I should do, though I don’t really see the harm in keeping it. There’s a fine tradition on the web of lying in your <meta> tags…

Posted by: Jacques Distler on May 8, 2003 8:38 AM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: I Came, I Saw, I Validated

Why the attachment to static pages? Two lines fixed this with PHP on all pages but my front, which is rather crudely cached. In fact I think I’ll take a look at that now.

Posted by: Matt on May 9, 2003 3:59 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

Why Static?

Golem is the machine on my desktop. And so (this may just be superstition on my part) I am averse to doing anything which would increase the server load, like generating dynamic pages.

It was a something of a concession for me to include my sidebar via SSI. But I figured that, since the sidebar gets regenerated once an hour, it was much better to include it via SSI, than to regenerate my main and monthly archive pages once an hour.

Posted by: Jacques Distler on May 9, 2003 4:13 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: I Came, I Saw, I Validated

Bah! The <meta> tag served no useful purpose anyway. Just in case, I set

AddDefaultCharset On

in the server config, and now that troublesome tag is outahere!

Posted by: Jacques Distler on May 10, 2003 1:23 AM | Permalink | Reply to this

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