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Re: The concept of cascading

From: Paul Prescod <papresco@calum.csclub.uwaterloo.ca>
Date: Tue, 29 Apr 1997 22:05:24 -0400
Message-ID: <3366A8E4.1563D7BE@calum.csclub.uwaterloo.ca>
To: www-style@w3.org
Mike Wexler wrote:
> I'm not at all sure of this. Lets say that the corporate creative services
> department
> creates a style sheet for internal use that sets up some default fonts,
> backgrounds, etc.
> Lets also say, that the engineering department publishes specifications on
> an internal web site.
> They might want to use the corporate style sheet, but it is quite unlikley,
> that the creative
> service group could anticipate and properly handle the formatting needs of
> code samples
> and other elements that only occur in technical documents.

That's true. Both CSS and DSSSL make it easy to support new elements
incrementally. You just add new rules and import the old. I know some
label the "cascade" any mechanism for incrementally adding to a
stylesheet but I use it specifically to mean the merging of styles that
apply to a single presentational object.

> ... 
> Another example, is that a fortune 500 multi-national corporation might
> have a standard
> style sheet that puts there logo in the background as a watermark and uses
> a corporate standard
> font, but the legal department might have requirements to use specific font
> sizes and weights
> for certain parts of legal documents that they post.

Right, and they have several choices. The first, which I would recommend
is to ask the people who maintain the stylesheet to parameterize it for
them, because they need this font or watermark. Now those people know
what is going on so that they don't later use a text color (for example)
that is hard to read on the watermark, or a font that stylistically
clashes.

The second choice would be to copy the stylesheet and modify it. Now
they have complete control and no changes can be made "behind their
back". But they risk getting out of sync with the main one.

My third choice would be to override the rules in an ad hoc manner,
risking future clashes. This can be done in either CSS or DSSSL, but is
easier in CSS.

 Paul Prescod
Received on Tuesday, 29 April 1997 21:59:16 GMT

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