Content Validation: Errors vs Warnings

Making an eBook is easy. 

Making a good eBook… that’s a bit more of a challenge.  At a minimum, validation can prevent broken or erroneous content from being sent through production.  But can validation also help us make good content?  

It absolutely can.  That is, if the person creating the validation rules understands what good content is.  But one size doesn’t fit all.  And there is an exception for every rule.  So how do we add best practice validation to a workflow without jamming up the gears whenever there’s one of those exceptions? 

Errors vs Warnings 

If something is broken, it needs to be fixed.  There are no exceptions to that.  An eBook has to work. When something like this comes up in validation, we throw an error. In other words, nothing can proceed until that error is corrected.  

However, there are things, such as best practice considerations or business guidelines that are generally good to adhere by but can sometimes be unnecessary.  When something like this comes up, we can throw a warning.  A warning means that we identify the best practice or business guideline violation, show where it is and what it looks like, and give the user the option to correct it or proceed through the workflow.  If the user does decide to address the warning, the validation’s detailed warning readout will make the process quick and easy.   And if the warning is something that can’t or shouldn’t be addressed in the title, the user can ignore it without halting the workflow. 

As you can see, the distinction between these two validation results is critical in ensuring the smooth operation of a workflow.   Errors ensure that no broken content ever makes it to production.   And warnings make the process of making a good eBook a lot less challenging. 

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