Book HomeCascading Style Sheets: The Definitive GuideSearch this book Wednesday 13th of December 2017 08:03:45 PM

A.3. Online Communities

One can read only so much before it comes time to join a discussion and ask some questions. There are two major venues for discussions about CSS, but each is concerned with a specific type of discussion -- so make sure you go to the right place.

A.3.1. comp.infosystems.www.authoring.stylesheets

This Usenet group, often abbreviated as ciwas (pronounced "see-wass"), is the gathering place for CSS authors. A number of experts in the field check this newsgroup regularly, this author among them, and all are there for one primary reason: to help new CSS authors over the hurdles that learning any new language will generate. The secondary reason is for the spirited debates that occasionally erupt over some aspect of CSS, or a browser's implementation thereof. Rather unusually for a newsgroup, the signal-to-noise ratio stayed fairly high for the last few years of the 1990s, and will with any luck continue in that vein.


Anyone who wishes to be involved in discussing the future course of CSS, and to clearing up ambiguities in the specifications, should subscribe to this list. The members of the list are all, in one fashion or another, interested in making CSS better than it is already. Please note: www-style is not the place to ask for assistance with writing CSS. For help with CSS authoring problems, visit ciwas instead. Questions beginning with "How do I ... ?" are frowned upon by the regulars of www-style and are usually redirected to a more appropriate forum such as ciwas. On the other hand, questions that begin "Why can't I ... ?" or "Wouldn't it be cool if ... ?" are generally welcome, so long as they relate to some ability that appears to be missing from CSS.

Messages to www-style are only accepted if the sender is already subscribed to the list. In order to know that it should assign a font-weight of bold (or bolder) to B elements. Similar problems can arise when using STRONG, or any other element that would ordinarily call for boldface text.

The solution is simple enough. Just make sure that you set an explicit font-weight for these elements. A good rule to include in your style sheet would be:

subscribe, send email to with the word subscribe in the subject of the message; to unsubscribe, send email to with the word unsubscribe in the subject of the message.

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There are serious issues related to document reflow with :hover and :focus. Take, for example:

A:hover {font-size: 200%;}

In theory, a user agent would have to double the size of anchor text as the pointer hovers over it, which could well cause major redisplay issues. An author could cause similar problems by declaring that it can still come in very handy. For example, you could define stylesto apply to entire documents:

HTML:lang(de) {color: black; background: yellow;}

Thus would all HTML documents marked as German be shown as black texton a yellow background. This marking could be made with thelang attribute, in a META tagin the document's head, or even as a value in thedocument's HTTP headers. This is somewhat similar to the|= attribute selector discussed in the previous

In order to get from this simplified state to something morefamiliar, all we have to do is determine how wide the element shouldbe, and then break up the line so that the resulting pieces will fitinto the width of the element. Thus we arrive at the state shown inFigure 8-46.

Figure 8-46

Figure 8-46. A multiple-line inline element

Basically, nothing's changed. All we did was take the singleline and break it into pieces, and then stack those pieces on top of

The default value of font-style is, as we can see,normal. This refers to "upright"text, which is probably best described as "text that is notitalic or otherwise slanted." The vast majority of text in thisbook is upright, for instance.