Why Validation isn’t All That Important…

Jeffrey Way (editor of Net.Tuts+) has a new article on his personal blog that brings up a topic that I think deserves some attention. He writes:

I woke up this morning to a rude email from a reader today. “Jeff,” he said, “I’m sorry, but I have no desire to read your articles when your own site’s CSS doesn’t validate. This only exemplifies the fact that you don’t know the correct way to create a website.”

I’d say most websites don’t validate all the way. This site’s stylesheet, like Jeff Way’s would valiate fine if not for a couple of proprietary style rules for Mozilla and Webkit browsers used to create rounded corners. (Oh, I also have a redundant cursor:hand statement for IE browsers that don’t understand the proper way of doing things…)

It doesn’t matter that it won’t pass the validation test. Are there any major CSS mistakes that will prevent either site from rendering properly in some browser? No.

The validator isn’t some sort of magic certification that separates good code from bad code. It’s a developer tool to help you find mistakes that actually could cause a problem.