Jump to content

Errors found in w3schools contents


turtle
 Share

Recommended Posts

This one bugged me:

www.w3schools.com/tags/tag_font_style.aspThe <tt>, <i>, <b>, <big>, and <small> tags are all font-style tags. They are not deprecated, but it is possible to achieve richer effect with CSS. This is wrong. <big> and <tt> are not only deprecated, they are obsolete as of HTML5. In any case, a learning site should never advocate the use of these tags to format text, even with a mild disclaimer that “richer” effects are possible via CSS.
W3Fools is wrong.1. W3Schools maintains different references for HTML 4.01 and 5. The quoted material is from the 4.01 section. The 5 section clearly indicates that these tags are not supported.2. According to the W3C specification, these tags are supported and not deprecated in 4.01. The same passage clearly indicates that <strike> and <u> are deprecated. I mention this only to demonstrate the unlikelihood that this section of the spec somehow forgot to mention which tags were deprecated.3. A comprehensive listing of HTML elements should describe ALL valid elements. That's pretty basic. Describing a valid element is NOT the same as advocating it.4. Indeed, adding that "it is possible to achieve richer effect with CSS" is not what I would call a mild disclaimer. It is actually pretty bold commentary on a site that strives to be informative and objective.W3Fools, you have some legitimate points to make. Someone should have done more homework before making this one.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also bothersome:

www.w3schools.com/jquery/tryit.asp?filename=tryjquery_ajax2 async: falseThe first "A" in AJAX stands for "asynchronous" (or non-blocking). Promoting setting the async property to false when calling jQuery's ajax method without any context in an example that is likely to be copy/pasta'd around the net is grossly irresponsible.
For starters, false is a valid value and there are times when it is appropriate. Using it and promoting it are hardly the same thing. Never using it at all would suggest that it never gets used, and that would be an even greater sin.More to the point, the cited material is from a jQuery tutorial. The main AJAX tutorial is in a separate section, as it should be. Further, the example presented at the top of the request object tutorial shows asynch set to false, just as W3Fools suggests. I've seen AJAX stuff that people copy/pasta from the school, and it's stuff from this section.Continuing: a later section of the request object tutorial DOES address the different effects of using a true or false asynch value. Seems to me that this is the place to have that discussion, since it is (as I said) the main AJAX tutorial. If a jQuery student wants thorough documentation of AJAX, he should have brains enough to look for it here instead of there.By W3Fools' logic, every time an example uses the alert method, we should get a complete discussion of the window object!And just so we're clear on this, the request object tutorial has this to say:
Sending asynchronously requests is a huge improvement for web developers. . . . Using async=false is not recommended. . .
Any questions? Edited by Deirdre's Dad
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Let's make this a trilogy:

www.w3schools.com/js/js_obj_boolean.aspvar myBoolean=new Boolean();This code is completely useless. It is slower, larger, and causes all sorts of problems compared to straight-up true and false. . . .
There is a complaint to be made here, but W3Fools missed it. W3Schools wants to be a complete reference. When you make that commitment, you don't get to cherry-pick the objects you're going to explain. You explain all of them, stupid or not.The thing is, I agree that the Boolean object is stupid. If the school edits this page, they should explain the pitfalls of using it and the benefits of using Boolean primitives. And that's all that W3Fools should have recommended. If they have a beef with JavaScript, they know who to send it to. Edited by Deirdre's Dad
Link to comment
Share on other sites

w3schools has been an invaluable resource for me. I've gone from beginner to intermediate, simply by reading and experimenting with the content of the tutorials.The w3schools website is a steppingstone for beginners

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I seem to have too much time on my hands:

www.w3schools.com/vbscript/vbscript_intro.aspWhen a VBScript is inserted into an HTML document, the Internet browser will read the HTML and interpret the VBScript. This strongly implies that VBScript will work in all browsers. The doc says nothing about VB being a proprietary language that only works in Internet Explorer.
As strange as it may seem, the Intro page linked above is NOT the first page of the VBScript tutorial. This one is. Guess what you'll find at the top of the HOME page in BIG FREAKIN LETTERS:VBScript is a Microsoft scripting language.VBScript is the default scripting language in ASP.Client-side VBScript only works in Internet Explorer!The Tryit example on that page also makes it clear that it will work in IE only. In fact, almost every green-boxed example with a link to a Tryit in this tutorial clearly indicates that it's meant for IE only.Again, W3Fools is citing information missing from pages where it doesn't belong, and ignoring the fact that the information does appear on more appropriate pages. In this case, I'm tempted to conclude that W3Fools maliciously sought out and quoted one of the few pages in the VBS tutorial that doesn't mention the proprietary nature of VBS. I have no insight into the authors' minds, so I won't make an accusation. But, seriously, this one doesn't even pass the smell test.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was thinking about the Wiki approach W3Fools suggested. It seems very dangerous to me. Refsnes Data ran this site with token advertising for a long time. The long-term goal was obviously to make money, and now the ads are getting a lot more space. I wish them well.The point is, Wiki sites like Wikipedia are hard to control. Wikipedia lives without advertising, and we all know that, good as it is, all it takes is one jerk to come along and mess up an article. Then you have the correction and discussion process.Does that work well when your goal is profit? I'm not so sure. Paid advertisers are likely to be put off by the chance that 24-72 hours could go by before something crazy has been fixed.I would suggest that Refsnes Data simply encourage a more lively suggestion forum. I think it would require one small change. A Refsnes representative could maintain a visible, semi-active presence on the suggestion forum. Asking questions, occasionally responding to suggestions, and actually acknowledging that a suggestion has been heard and acted upon. Really, I think you'd see a lot more active participation. And if more people post stoopid suggestions, too, what's the harm? It's easy enough to ignore that kind of stuff, and obvious trolls will get canned as usual.

Edited by Deirdre's Dad
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Exactly. If someone that represented W3Schools showed up here everyone once in a while, I bet a lot of these kinds of little details would have long since been cleared up by now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was thinking about the Wiki approach W3Fools suggested...
I was considering that also, and I came to some different conclusions. It's probably worth a discussion, even if nothing we say here is actually going to be applied.Things like quality can be managed technologically, like requiring changes to be approved before they show up live. Doing that will require a fairly large staff of people to monitor and approve everything though (at least more than the three people we have moderating here).Other than that, I think that the future of programming tutorials and references online is in a wiki context. This is information that fundamentally lends itself well to input from others. W3Schools is already on the top of the rankings, and if they are going to be knocked off that pedestal it's going to be by a community-driven wiki where the members contribute and improve all of the tutorials and reference sections. The sphere of teaching and learning programming is missing a centralized wiki, and W3Schools is in a unique position to create that and have it start with a very high ranking. It's a niche that is going to eventually be filled, so I think it comes down to a question of whether or not that's the direction they want to take this site. If it is, they can position themselves as the #1 site for learning web technologies without a doubt. If they don't, they risk having to compete against the same.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

but how do you keep people from contributing erroneous information? What is the screening process of wiki sites in general? And how do you keep something like declaring an object using new vs. {} from devolving to pettiness?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

but how do you keep people from contributing erroneous information?
The approval and monitoring process would have people verifying information as it gets presented. If erroneous information does get published, the community would be expected to correct it.
What is the screening process of wiki sites in general?
I don't know what certain sites use, but there's no reason why they couldn't make their own rules.
And how do you keep something like declaring an object using new vs. {} from devolving to pettiness?
You state facts and not opinions. You describe the two methods, show benchmarks if you want to compare performance, and leave it at that.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Things like quality can be managed technologically, like requiring changes to be approved before they show up live. Doing that will require a fairly large staff of people to monitor and approve everything though (at least more than the three people we have moderating here).Other than that, I think that the future of programming tutorials and references online is in a wiki context. This is information that fundamentally lends itself well to input from others. W3Schools is already on the top of the rankings, and if they are going to be knocked off that pedestal it's going to be by a community-driven wiki where the members contribute and improve all of the tutorials and reference sections. The sphere of teaching and learning programming is missing a centralized wiki, and W3Schools is in a unique position to create that and have it start with a very high ranking. It's a niche that is going to eventually be filled, so I think it comes down to a question of whether or not that's the direction they want to take this site. If it is, they can position themselves as the #1 site for learning web technologies without a doubt. If they don't, they risk having to compete against the same.
I definitely agree with you, JSG. Wiki-fying the site would greatly improve its quality, so long as accurate and pertinent information is submitted. Even something like the user comments implemented on php.net would greatly improve the quality. This way users could put in their two cents and provide valuable insight into the tricks and pitfalls of various functions, attributes, etc.A full fledged wiki might, as DD suggested, infringe upon the profitability of the site for Refsnes, but I don't think that a comments section would hurt anything.EDIT: Maybe these posts about wiki-fying w3schools should be split out into their own topic? Edited by ShadowMage
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A full fledged wiki might, as DD suggested, infringe upon the profitability of the site for Refsnes, but I don't think that a comments section would hurt anything.
I don't really think so, I think there's plenty of room for ads on a wiki. Wikipedia just chooses to use donations instead of advertising. Look at this page, for example. There's a large section on top and bottom for ads, and the right sidebar has plenty of room as well. It wouldn't be difficult to design the content pages so that there are 5 or 6 ads on each page if that's what they want to go for.
EDIT: Maybe these posts about wiki-fying w3schools should be split out into their own topic?
That may be a little presumptuous, right now this discussion is in the context of the other article.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it was the large staff and approval process I was thinking about. I assume, perhaps incorrectly, that Refsnes Data is stretched as far as they can go right now.Specifically, I worried about advertising on a site that could not protect itself against malicious posts within a reasonable period of maintenance.I suppose if Refsnes Data can talk rational people like JSG, boen and Synook into volunteering as mods for the board, they can do the same for a wiki. Eventually, a core group of wiki admins would be paid, just as they are at Wikipedia, and that would ensure even higher quality.Yes, I was short-sighted at first. A Wikipedia-style repository could become the defacto programming database. Maybe it is inevitable.As an academic, I have an interesting perspective on Wikipedia and its evolution. I've been using it personally for quite some time. As a teacher, though, I went along with the party-line that said to our students, "Oh, it's unreliable, stay away, don't even think of using it as a research tool."Then at some point I started noticing a lot of scholarly blogs linking to more and more articles there. Which is to say, the opinion of actual scholars toward the thing had begun to change. And I'm talking serious scholars, here, not just newly-minted PhDs.Recently, an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education argued that academics should (1) encourage students to use Wikipedia as a jumping-off place for deeper research, and (2) actually contribute to the knowledge base. #2 is already happening, but nowhere near as extensively as it could.The point is simple, and argues more strongly for JSG's idea. If a non-profit start-up like Wikipedia could become what it is in 10 years, AND earn the respect of professional scholars, then a web-programming wiki could do the same. Given the incredible SEO position that W3Schools enjoys, this probably is the right place. And now might be the right time.This is fun. Count me in.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe we should start our own, and offer to hire the Refsnes clan to write (read: copy) the initial tutorials.There's definitely a niche there, I think it's inevitable, and hopefully they are able to use their existing position to start out as the leader. The lack of community involvement until now is a point of concern, though. Either they are stretched as far as they can go and are unwilling or unable to grow, or they simply don't want to get involved with a community.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I suppose if Refsnes Data can talk rational people like JSG, boen and Synook into volunteering as mods for the board, they can do the same for a wiki. Eventually, a core group of wiki admins would be paid, just as they are at Wikipedia, and that would ensure even higher quality.
Stop it, stop it! You're making it sound way too cool and exciting :) .I refuse to bug my mind with this idea, as I'd otherwise go more rogue than Sarah Palin if it doesn't go through :) .(BTW, a hosted MediaWiki, from my small experience with one, sucks... a full fledged hosting or GTFO)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The basic features of MediaWiki appear to be quite off from what Wikipedia has... let's just say that we can do better things on the forum with its basic package if we were to dedicate a whole board to that. There are a few add ons for MediaWiki that once added make it feel a lot better, but a hosted package is just not going to let you add those (or perhaps some do... just not the one at SourceForge.net; the one I have small experience with).And porting... what porting? No porting there AFAIK... but then again, I'm not quite an authoritive person to check up for that, so I may be wrong.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I shouldn't have said port. I just meant, what if you have to move it to another machine?So you're saying WikiPedia's implementation of their own wiki software is pretty different from the way it comes out of the box? I guess that shouldn't be surprising.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It uses a database of its own kind, along with files of its own kind... like most CMSes... move either or both, reconnect them if needed, and you're set... the usual.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

boen_robot, you're famous :) - http://www.readwriteweb.com/hack/2011/01/w...-to-w3fools.php.I think a wiki has the ... potential to work, if it's managed well-enough. The software and all that can be worked out easily. I do wonder how many people would actually contribute, though (the MDC edit log is quite interesting in this regard).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...