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May 4 2004

Just How Important is Validation?

Whenever I bring up the subject of valid HTML/CSS code, inevitably I get asked "As long as the page works, what does it matter if it validates or not?" To this, I usually roll up my sleeves and begin a 45 minute sermon on the benefits of web-standards. But in the back of my head, I still can’t completely shake the question.

I’ve always been annoyed by people who stick so closely to the rules that rules become the point of their existence; and that is exactly what I don’t want web standards to become! The point of having a validated, standards compliant site is not to simply "validate," the point is to accurately convey the desired information to as many people/sources as possible. My hope for web standards is that the focus will stay on the content, and that validation is simply a requirement for displaying that content.