Introducing HTACG

As alluded to in my last post wherein I indicated that I was adopting HTACG’s HTML Tidy for distributing a replacement for Mac OS X’s nine-year-old version, I will discuss HTACG in a little more detail, as well as talk about the impact it will have on Balthisar Tidy specifically and on the future of HTML Tidy and Tidy toolchains in general.

Much of Tidy’s history is already summarized on its Wikipedia page and on HTML Tidy’s website, so suffice it to say that it had been uncared for, unloved, and untended for a very long time while HTML continued to develop and surpass Tidy’s abilities to work.

Frustrated with the situation, a group of developers (including yours truly), users, and system integrators petitioned the W3C for recognition as the HTML Tidy Advocacy Community Group (HTACG). This petition was granted and the W3C transferred control of their GitHub repository to use soon thereafter.

Does this mean Balthisar Tidy is now an official HTML Tidy product?

No, it doesn’t. Balthisar Tidy uses TidyLib (which is an official product) to perform the tidying process, but the Mac application itself is still my own project.

Will you abuse HTACG or the Tidy project team to popularize Balthisar Tidy?


Will Balthisar Tidy be updated more often with better tidying?

Yes, definitely. The inability to offer a stable engine with modern features was one the primary motivating factors for founding HTACG and taking over management of the HTML Tidy project. As soon as a stable 5.0.0 or 5.1.0 is released, Balthisar Tidy will take advantage of it immediately (ed. note: I’ve been busy and haven’t fulfilled this promise, but I’m on track for a late October release).

You mentioned other Tidy toolchains?

Yup. Tidy occupies a pretty broad place on the internet. It's built into PHP, available in perl, Apache can serve Tidy’d pages with mod-tidy, and more. The continued development of Tidy seems pretty secure for now, meaning that all of these other tools’ futures are assured, too.

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