This is a legacy document, and retained on the site in order to avoid link rot. The content is likely no longer (a) accurate, (b) representative of the views and philosophies of current site management, or (c) up to date.

CSS: A Philosophy

30-10-2005 --
This is a legacy document, and retained on the site in order to avoid link rot. The content is likely no longer (a) accurate, (b) representative of the views and philosophies of current site management, or (c) up to date.

Sue Sims

On a dreary day in June of 1997, following a thread in an HTML authoring group, I followed a URL to a magical place. When I first saw Daniel Greene's page, I was enchanted by the overlapping headers, and blending of colors, and the placement of the text. Curious about how these effects had been achieved, I looked at the source of the page and, for the first time, saw a link to a file mapped as text/css. Since I found no presentational attributes in the HTML, I knew that this CSS must be responsible for the presentation on this page.

In searching for information on CSS, the fact that search engines returned few references led me to purchase the book by the authors of the CSS working draft, Håkon Wium Lie and Bert Bos. Now, at last, the magic could be reduced to a language. Experimenting with declarations from the book, supplemented by more peeks at Daniel's source, convinced me that the answer to separation of presentation from structure was the use of CSS.

Thus began a quest to learn everything possible about CSS, to gather information already available, to create information where needed, and to convice authors to utilize the magic that CSS allow.

In order for viewers to enjoy the magic, CSS capable browsers were deployed. Because of implementation differences, CSS declarations 'by the book' were problematic. With the rich enhancements offered by CSS, participants in the stylesheets newsgroup began sharing solutions they had discovered. Finally, some answers became available to all the questions which began "My CSS looks fine in browser x, but not in browser y…".

Although CSS Pointers began as an effort to provide examples of CSS in use, and available resources, it has evolved into a site to look for cross-browser, cross-platform solutions as well. One of the documents created is a 'workarounds' page, sorted by browser, which distills the best solutions located for those problematic declarations.

Although the CSS Pointers Group includes some of the most knowledgeable people in terms of CSS, there are others who have influenced my thinking, or instructed, or helped in some way, and should not go unrecognized. They include:

Alan Flavell Lars Marius Garshol Howard Marvel
Eric Meyer Gordon Blackstock Steve Knoblock
eva Jelks Cabaniss Phil Stripling
Ian Feldman Jukka Korpela Liam Quinn
Mark Fuller The other half of *us* Arjun Ray

Sue Sims