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improve/develop the HTML Validator with the W3C #18

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paulirish opened this Issue Nov 19, 2010 · 7 comments

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paulirish commented Nov 19, 2010

Michael Smith of the W3C told me they're looking for help developing the W3C's html validator. Yes, the validator that thousands of web developers use every hour.

You want to help make it better for web developers? Good! Most of the work is Java. Below are details from him..

We're looking for somebody to help fix bugs and implement new features in
the source for the HTML5/validator.nu backend.

Ideally, it'd be nice to find somebody who already is using the validator
and is familiar with it and has an interest in helping out with it.

Also ideally, it'd be nice to have somebody with some Java skills, because
the source is pretty much all Java.

What we need mostly is help with changes to the part of the backend that
does checking of attribute "microsyntax"/datatypes and in some cases the
text content of elements (e.g., the <style> and <script> elements), as well
as a part of the backend that provides some custom checkers for doing
things like making sure <table> elements don't have overlapping cells.

To give a more detailed view of what some of what still needs to be done,
the list of open bugs/enhancements that neither Henri nor I am currently
working on is here:

http://is.gd/honoi

The best thing for somebody to do to start to get familiar with it would be
to check out the source and build it:

http://about.validator.nu/#src

About the structure of the code itself, the nutshell description is that it
does streaming, event-based processing (rather than, e.g., constructing a
DOM and then doing processing on that), through a set of SAX handlers that
are piped together and driven by a HTML5-text/html parser.

There's a detailed overview of the architecture in Henri's thesis:

http://hsivonen.iki.fi/thesis/

And I'd be really happy to spend some time personally helping anybody who's
interested in contributing.

--Michael(tm) Smith

comment here if you're interested (or email me) and I can get you set up.

@yati-sagade

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yati-sagade commented Nov 5, 2011

I would like to work on this. I am comfortable with Java, though I haven't used the validator extensively(My app on GAE passed the test, and that was it). Where do I go from here?

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sideshowbarker commented Nov 6, 2011

yati-sagade, best thing is to check out the source from http://about.validator.nu/#src then take a look at the list of open bugs http://is.gd/honoi and take a shot at writing up a patch for anything that looks interesting

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ericduran commented Jan 8, 2012

So would it be a crazy idea to move the validator off java and to something like node?

I read the FAQ and it explains pretty well why Java was chosen at the time. I'm just curious about other peoples thoughts. If the project were to start today would Java still be the ideal platform?

My first thought was node pretty much because of Javascript and I figure it'll be easier for web developers to contribute.

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paulirish commented Jan 8, 2012

pretty crazy but from what i can tell, maintainership trumps language in
projects like this.
so it seems reasonable.

you interested?

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ericduran commented Jan 9, 2012

Yea, I'm going to start in node. See how it goes. I'm not thinking too crazy.

I'm going for a simple "node validate.js example.com" . I mostly want this for simple integration with a CI server. I try building the actual validator but the build script seems to be broken :-/

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philipwalton commented Oct 14, 2012

@ericduran how is your work on this coming? I definitely +1 the idea of doing the validator in JavaScript. Having it in JavaScript means it could be easily integrated into a CI server (via Node) as well as in the browser. The browser would be awesome for instant feedback (via the web console) while building the site and navigating from page to page.

I'd be willing to help with this if you need any.

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ericduran commented Oct 14, 2012

@philipwalton ah I never got around to this. Doubt I'll be able to pick it up now. A bit busy with a lot. Now there is http://validator.nu/ but I would still love to see a simple validator on node.

I'm more than willing to provide guidance (assuming I have something to provide) if needed.

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