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About Dillo's Bug Meter

Introduction:

Dillo's bug meter shows the number of detected bugs inside a web page. The bugs are caught at parsing time, and therefore the error messages also show the line where they occur and provide a hint of what was expected instead!

The primary goal of the bug meter is to help webmasters and page authors to polish the contents of their sites with a view to make them standards compliant.

How does it work?

Mainly, the parser catches "nesting" bugs. That is, improperly closed or unclosed elements. This is, actually, one of the most common mistakes found in web pages, so the chances of a dillo-validated web page to be W3C or WDG compliant are very high!

The rest of the reported bugs set is basically related to proper format and allowed contents for elements and attributes.

What's the difference with the W3C and WDG validators?

Mainly the ease of use and completeness.

Dillo's bug meter is not a substitute for formal validators but a tool to help towards standards compliance.

Every page displayed by Dillo shows the bug meter count, and also keeps an error message list. That is, for the sole act of displaying a page you know whether it validates with Dillo or not. The error message list (with hints) is a single click away!

Once the page validates you can double check it either with the W3C or WDG by right-clicking the bug meter and making your choice. These validators make a formal check of the page contents.

Most of the time the page will pass this second check!

Why are standards so important?

When a page is not standards compliant it becomes slang, and as such its interpretation is subjective or, at best, only known to its creators.

Such pages, and particularly those with multiple slang instances, start to become only understandable by one interpreter (browser).

Once this happens, the universality of the Web fails, because it restricts site usage to a certain browser.

Making your sites standards-compliant will help ensure every browser, old and new, will be able to present the sites properly, and also that they will work in the future, making your site accessible from a wide range of devices ranging from desktops to cell phones.

The universality and interoperability of the Web is one of the biggest assets of mankind today. Liberty of expression and freedom of information have found their new home inside the fertile Web space.

If you let a single corporation or entity the power to control the Internet's protocols, they would be able to control the Web just as much as the mass-media.

Please don't let that happen.

What can I do?

  • Be aware of the importance of Web standards, and help to spread the word.
  • Help page authors and webmasters to provide standards-compliant contents (For instance, you can copy&paste the error messages produced by Dillo, and mail them to the author).
  • Reject slang and proprietary protocols, use alternative standard-compliant sites.

Links:

  • The Web Standards Project's FAQ.
  • Tidy: an extraordinary tool that automatically corrects a lot of errors found in web pages.
  • W3C and WDG.