W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > April 1998

Re: adv. of css, but why not html.

From: Garth Wallace <gwalla@hotmail.com>
Date: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 18:28:09 PDT
Message-ID: <19980425012810.9812.qmail@hotmail.com>
To: www-html@w3.org, knumb@hotmail.com
>From: "*Nicholas Owens*" <knumb@hotmail.com>
>To: www-html@w3.org
>Date: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 13:23:41 PDT
>Subject: adv. of css, but why not html.
>one of the big adv. of css is its ability to so-called cascade.  for 
>instance, an entire site may have a basic.css file that covers basic 
>stuff such as backgrounds that can be held readily avail. in the
>user's cache,

Not quite true. The CSS file doesn't contain the image file. Any 
reference to an image in CSS is a URL, just like in HTML. Caching is a 
completely separate mechanism that is actually part of the browser's 
implementation (you could technically write a browser that does no 
caching, although I have never seen one like that), and works in exactly 
the same manner whether the image is specified in CSS or HTML.

>and the particular dept may have it's own dept1.css file that 
>would cascadeonto the basic.css file but provide other stuff such as 
>font size and line size.  that's all well and good and i see alot fo 
the future of that.  why can't that be the case in pure html.

Probably because there is no sane way of determining how that should 
work. Would the contents of a <CITE> tag in the more specific document 
replace those in the more general document? Anything like this would 
require a complete redefinition of HTML, and nobody wants that. What 
advantage would this have, anyway?

>why can't we refer to a file that would specify basic backround
>stuff or text color, to remain in the user-agent's cache, and then
>have other local files to cascade onto said basic.html file?

Because specifying background stuff and text color is exactly what CSS 
is for. Not HTML. This goes completely against the reasons for HTML. The 
whole point of CSS is separating the presentation of the page from the 
contents. You shouldn't be specifying backgrounds and colors with HTML 
anymore anyway, except for compatibility with earlier browsers

> i understand the many other obvious adv. that css presents and will
>phase out my life with html as soon as it becomes excepted more.

You wont have to phase out HTML, just the control of appearance through 
<FONT> tags, nested tables, and the like. CSS is only supposed to 
complement, not replace, HTML. Fortunately, it is fairly easy to make 
the switch without alienating people on older browsers.

Remember that HTML tags are, first and foremost, supposed to describe 
the text. Tables are for spreadsheet-like tables, and the <FONT> 
tag--along with the godawful <BASEFONT> tag--is deprecated (= use is 
discouraged). Just put your content in HTML and specify appearance 
through CSS, and you'll probably get exactly what you're proposing HTML 
should do by itself.
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Received on Friday, 24 April 1998 21:28:12 UTC

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