The HOTWIRED HTML Validation Parser Contest! (was Re: HTML Validation Form [Was: Nesting of HTML ele

Brian Behlendorf (
Wed, 12 Oct 1994 12:41:18 -0700 (PDT)

On Wed, 12 Oct 1994 wrote:
> The validation service is great. Is there any way to run it as a standalone
> program? We have SGMLS here but I don't really understand how to make it do
> useful stuff.

Announcing the HotWired HTML Validator Contest!

First Prize: $100, plus your name and URL on our masthead when we go live
in two weeks, and our deep gratitude :)

One part of our publication will be a powerful generalized system for
giving feedback to our content and for participating in open discussion
forums. The system is designed such that the user can write their
contributions in HTML. The feedback is integrated into the database as soon
as it is submitted, and because some pages will be composites of those, a
generalized mechanism for validating, and *correcting*, any string of text
claiming to be HTML is needed, so that subsequent comments or HTML text that
appears after the submitted text aren't fouled up.

Again, this parser *must* be able to handle any arbitrary string of
text - unclosed quotes, any opening tag which does not also have a
closing tag, etc. Nothing in the input string can be touched -
corrections can only be made by adding tags at the end. Users will be
able to see how their submitted string renders before approving the post.

Source must be provided as a function in Perl, which takes a string
as an argument and returns the fixed string, or as a self-contained C program
that takes input on stdin and outputs on stdout.

Providing source in *both* Perl and C
Providing a mechanism for error messages, i.e. "You forgot to put
</a> in!\n", etc.

The deadline for the contest is Saturday, October 14th at midnight. You
Flex wizards out there should be able to do this in your sleep. :)
Entries will be judged on correctness and efficiency.