A testdrive with W3C’s Unicorn

It’s been about two weeks since the World Wide Web Consortium released Unicorn, it’s new all-in-one validator. The new service combines W3C’s markup validator, CSS validator, mobileOk checker, and feed validator. I’ve been using those services for a long time and use them on a daily basis. I’ve even incorporated the markup validator and the CSS validator in my semi-automated SEO scan.

A big improvement is that Unicorn is fast, and when I say fast, I mean really fast. The combined validation takes about as long as a validation with one of the individual services would take.

The biggest improvement however is having a single page for all your validation needs so you can see if something is wrong in one glance.

You can also easily add Unicorn to the Webdeveloper Toolbar. Simply use the following steps:

  • Click ‘Tools’ in the Webdeveloper Toolbar
  • Click ‘Edit tools…’
  • Click ‘Add’
  • Give the new option a description, e.g. ‘Unicorn’
  • Assign a keyboard shortcut to it
  • Choose ‘URL’ as the tool type
  • Enter the following path to the application:
    http://validator.w3.org/unicorn/check?ucn_task=conformance&ucn_uri=
  • Click ‘OK’

You can now easily check the page your viewing with Unicorn. The key binding might take a restart of your browser though.

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