Certain questions about Tidy come up on a
regular basis. These are some that have been culled from postings
to the email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
mailing lists. If you don't see your question addressed here, see
How To Get Support below.
- What Now?
If you have a popup screen that reads as follows:
HTML Tidy for Windows <vers 1st August 2002; built on Aug 8 2002, at 15:41:13>
Parsing Console input <stdin>
and do not know what to do next, read on.
Tidy is waiting for your HTML to come in, so it can parse it.
Tidy is fundamentally a tool that reads in HTML cleans it up and
writes it out again. It was developed as a program you run from the
console prompt, but there are GUI encapsulations available, e.g.
HTML-Kit, which you might prefer.
If you are using Windows, the first step is to unzip the zip file
and place the tidy.exe file in a folder somewhere on your executables
path. You may also want to set up a config file to save having to type
lots of options each time you run Tidy. From the console prompt you can
run Tidy like this:
C> tidy -m mywebpage.html
In this case, the
-m option requests Tidy to write
the tidied file back to the same filename as it read from
(mywebpage.html). Tidy will give you a breakdown of the problems it
found and the version of HTML the file appears to be using.
See also Dave Raggett's User Guide.
If you're not comfortable with the DOS command line, you should
try one of the GUI versions:
- How To Get Support
For general HTML Tidy support, the original mailing list
email@example.com is best. Sometimes developers are the last to
know... Also, this list covers both Java and C versions, not to
mention various value-added products such as GUI front ends, Perl
and Python integration, etc. If you don't get a response after a
couple tries or if you have a bug fix, bump it over to the
developer list at firstname.lastname@example.org. It's not a
hard line, but that is the general arrangement.
- How to Submit A Bug Report
You are encouraged to report bugs you found to the Tidy
developer team. Tidy's quality depends on your feedback. You can
either file your bug report in the Sourceforge
bug tracker for HTML Tidy (recommended) or send a mail
to the mailing list at email@example.com. Note you do not
have to have a Sourceforge account in order to file bug reports, or
be subscribed to firstname.lastname@example.org in order to post messages to the
Prior to submitting a bug report, please check that the bug is
not already known. Many are. If you are not sure, just ask. If it
is new bug, make sure to include at least the following information
in your report:
- A desciption of what you think went wrong.
- The HTML Tidy version (find it out by running
-v) and operating system you are running.
- The input, that exposes the bug.
A small HTML document that reproduces the problem is best.
- The configuration options you've used. Command line options
tidy -show-config to get an overview of the active
- Your e-mail address for further questions and comments.
These information are necessary to reproduce whatever is
failing, without them we cannot help you. Additional information -
and patches - are very welcome!
Please include only one bug per report. Reports with
multiple bugs are less easy to track and some bugs may get
- How to Submit A Feature
If you want Tidy to do something new that it doesn't do today
(or stop doing something), then it is probably a feature
The process for submitting a feature request is very similar to
bug requests. A different
tracker is used on SourceForge to denote the difference in
As with bugs, please be sure that the feature has not already
been requested. If the feature has already requested, you can add
your comments to the feature request tracker, or send mail to the
mailing list indicating your
wish to also have the feature implemented. If the feature has not
already been requested, send the same information as for a bug
report, but place special emphasis on the desired output for a
given input, desired options, etc. - please be as specific as
possible about what you want Tidy to do.
- What Version of Tidy Should
The current Source Forge builds - which you can find at http://tidy.sourceforge.net
- are recommended. People continue to report examples where Tidy
does not catch some ill-formed HTML or, worse, generates ill-formed
HTML. These cases have been significantly reduced. That said, be
sure to test Tidy with some representative files from your
For development work, use CVS directly on your development
system. For information on how to pull Tidy sources from CVS. This way
you can keep abreast of changes to Tidy and quickly resolve
For building a front end (e.g. GUI or Perl wrapper), the
simplest approach is to shell out to the command line tool and
parse the output. This way, users of your tool can drop in the
latest version of Tidy without even a re-link.
The other basic approach is to replace Tidy's
main() function with some other calls to use Tidy
source as a library. This approach requires more work to
synchronize changes with Tidy proper. It is more flexible in