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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 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.

900 could all produce the same very heavy fontvariant. As long as no keyword corresponds to a variant that islighter than the variant assigned to the previous keyword, theneverything will be all right.

As it happens, these numbers are defined to be equivalent to certaincommon variant names, not to mention other values forfont-weight. 400 is defined tobe equivalent to normal, and700 corresponds to bold. The

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TD {white-space: nowrap;}
TT {white-space: pre;}
widthIE4 P/Y IE5 P/Y NN4 P/P Op3 Q/-

Used to set the width of an element. This is most often applied to images, but can be used on any block-level or replaced element. Negative values are not permitted.


word-spacingIE4 N/Y IE5 N/Y NN4 N/N Op3 Y/-

Used to set the amount of whitespace between words. A "word" is defined as a string of

Figure 7-57

Figure 7-57. Uneven padding

It's a little tough to see the padding, though, so let's add a background color, as shown in Figure 7-58:

H1 {padding: 10px 0.25em 3ex 3cm; background: silver;}
H2 {padding: 0.5em 2em; background: silver;}
Figure 7-58

Figure 7-58. Uneven padding with background colors

As Figure 7-58 demonstrates, the background of an element extends into the padding. As we discussed before, it also extends to the outer edge of