The "Validator for Dreamweaver CS5" by Donald Booth is listed here on Adobe Exchange (Classic). This "old" utility is a DW extension, a local validator of --in my experience-- limited capabilities. (I find it doesn't find all markup problems, even some fairly simple ones, and it examines only the current file, which may be far from what is ultimately served.)
As far as I can see, DW CS6 supports only one kind of validation, very conveniently invoking the W3C Validator on the current page. In my view this makes a lot of sense, as that's the standard everybody looks to... right?
But there are cases in which I think a local validator is still useful. The originator of this thread has unspecified reasons to want local validation, and another poster on that Adobe Community thread can't find a way to use W3C validation because of password protection. My case: I'm looking for quick checks during development of my main work product, hundreds of HTML fragments (aka headerless code, aka HTML snippets). The W3C validator doesn't like code with no headers, spewing lots of completely valid error messages that are utterly useless to me. In my opinion it seems sensible that even simple validation checks along the way is going to save me a lot of trouble when I finally check the finished product with the W3C validator.
So, what about the "old" Validator for Dreamweaver CS5? It installs without complaint on DW CS6, but there doesn't seem to be any way of invoking it. Perhaps I'm missing something.
Is there a way to use the "old" local validator on CS6?
Is there any possibility of persuading the author to update it -- or release the code so someone else can update it? Anyone know Donald Booth? No, wait, I see here he's left Adobe for world traveling. (Fantastic! Where do I sign up?) Any Adobe folks reading this know where the code is? Any chance of getting it updated or released?
I remember the decision to link to the W3C validator was taken because updating the internal one would have required a large amount of engineering effort that was better spent on improving other aspects of the program. The problem with the internal validator is that it was inaccurate. It's also now out of date because it was created in the days before HTML5.
It's true that Don left Adobe a couple of years ago, and as far as I know he spent some time in New Zealand sheep shearing (or was it Scotland? - I know he went to both places). I might be able to contact Don and draw his attention to this request. I've no idea whether he'll feel inclined or have the time to update the extension, but I'll certainly try to contact him.
Thanks for your fast response!
There is zero reason to defend linking to the W3C validator. It is, after all, the gold standard.
Maybe since I first used the "old internal" validator, as I didn't find any documentation, I wondered about how it compared to the W3C validator. It was easy to see that it missed some fairly trivial errors. But in just a few mouse clicks and a second or two, using it I could get immediate feedback on last edit I did.
I'm torn by your offer to contact Don. If I was in his shoes --literally, standing in some beautiful and/or exotic foreign locale-- the last thing I'd want is someone to remind me of an ancient project at a job I've long since retired from.
Is there any chance that Adobe would simply release the old validator code and allow it to be user-supported, of course with ample disclaimers? Helpful for those of us who won't be moving to HTML5 for a while. If someone is willing and capable of adding HTML5 support, even if that occurs incrementally...
The first job would be to figure out why the Don's code installs but doesn't work on CS6. In fact, as discussed on this current thread, Don's validator does seem to function normally, but only when invoked to check the entire current local site. Invoking it to operate on the current file does nothing. Commonsensically, it seems like only a minor adjustment is needed to support checking the current file.
Not to argue against my own proposal, but for my particular workflow, I might be happy with the DW's W3C validator use if it supported the new (?) option to validate an HTML fragment, visible here. Almost all my work is on HTML fragments (aka headerless code, aka HTML snippets), hundreds and hundreds of them. (Do you know if this is a common or an unusual workflow?) For me, one key advantage of Don's validator is that it never complained about the absence of headers and gave me some helpful feedback despite their absence. The default invocation by DW of the W3C validator results in a lot of messages that arise from the lack of header. (Yeah, I know my code doesn't have any headers -- it will have them when actually served, so give me a break!) That makes using the W3C validator from DW much less attractive.
(Another option: design-time headers, parallel with design-time styles. Anyone?)
I hacked together a DW extension to do this at the touch of a function key.
Most of my markup files are HTML fragments, so the extension prepends the minimal necessary header items --including the appropriate DOCTYPE-- to the file begining, postpends the necessary closing tags at the end of the file, then runs the normal CS6 W3C validation. Then the extension removes the prepended and postpended items. It shouldn't be difficult to add a test so the additions (and subsequent subtractions) are only done on fragments, but I haven't bothered. The DOCTYPE is fixed, HTML 4.01 Transitional; a more clever extension would remove that limitation, too, but I'm not clever enough.
In several weeks of use, this has worked without any evident problem. It is fast, too!
For users who are constrained by security considerations from submitting work to the W3C for validation, I understand it is possible to install a local version of the W3C validator -- with some technical skill and some luck, as I've read -- it isn't trivial. For tekkies without a 24/7 net connection, this might be a reasonable alternative, too.
For less technical folks in that situation, it might still be useful to have access to Don Booth's "old, limited" validator on CS6. No systematic results, but is my impression that the old validator and the W3C are approximately equivalent for the kind of work I typically do.
You can also add this HTML Validator to Firefox and have it check you pages when you Preview In Browser:
No internet connection is required once it is added to Firefox and it is updated.
Thanks for your suggestion!
I guess if that's all you've got, it is a decent alternative.
For my workflow, I am a bit skeptical about changing to a completely different tool, and changing back to correct problems. Clicking on errors found by the W3C validator invoked by DW places you at the offending code in DW Code View, so it's very quick turn-around. Seems like the Firefox add-on alternative you suggest requires that such correlation to be done user-manually, error-by-error. Seems much less convenient. This is just guesswork, I'm on Mac, and that add-on is Win-only, so I can't try it out... That add-on projects looks a little behind-the-times, too -- unless I missed something.
The add-on is up to date.
Mac version here: http://users.skynet.be/mgueury/mozilla/download_090.html
The thing I like about it is there's no key to press, no command to execute. Every time you open a page in Firefox, it will give you a display of errors, if any, in the bottom right of the browser window. You are essentially validating your code each and every time you PIB with Firefox. To see the error details, you double click the error display and it brings up the code, with line labels that match DW, and highlights any errors with the same "steps to correct" as the W3C validators.
The Mac version, as John points out, is available at the developer's site (about half way down the link I posted).