Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Unicorn Validator

The W3C has today announced its brand new validator, named Unicorn for reasons they do not explain. The new validator combines four other validators into one:

Unicorn combines a number of popular tools in a single, easy interface, including the Markup validator, CSS validator, mobileOk checker, and Feed validator, which remain available as individual services as well.

W3C is inviting developers to submit their own modules for the validator to continue to expand its capabilities. So far Unicorn has been translated (localized) into 21 languages, and is hoping users can contribute more.

Unicorn's CSS profile validation includes the ability to choose warning levels to report and to choose a medium (all, braille, handheld, print, screen, etc.). The "Custom Task" allows users to choose among (X)HTML, CSS, MobileOK, and RSS/Atom. With this custom option, users can also choose a level of CSS (Level 1, 2, 2.1, or 3) in addition to other profiles (SVG, mobile, TV, etc.) and then again from a CSS user medium.

The report page has a much nicer way to display all the issues than previous validators, allowing users to collapse an entire section and showing icons and numbers corresponding to the count of specific error types within a section (2 errors, 3 warnings, for example). Each message also shows the specific line number and (if appropriate) character number of the error (warning, info alert) along with the corresponding message. Each section and message even has an anchor on it so you can link directly to any item for sharing issues with a team. Now if W3C could add a background color to the page (white would be ideal), then I wouldn't have to squint to see the results.

Give Unicorn a try and see what you think.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the compliment, but since you posted as "w3c" and link to a service you offer called W3C Validation, it looks to me like you are engaging in two rather dirty business practices:

    1. Presenting yourselves as the true W3C, both in your Google name and in the name of your company/service;

    2. Using this blog to post a comment that does nothing more than link back to your own service for link-building initiatives.

    Since the true W3C hasn't yet gone after you for copyright infringement, I won't delete your comment immediately. I'll give you a few hours to respond before I clear it off this blog, leaving this comment in place as a reminder to people that just because a company calls itself "W3C Validation," doesn't mean that it is an official W3C entity and that it is most likely relying on the confusion of users to profit on the good name of the W3C.

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