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W3C News: W3C Issues CSS2 as a Recommendation

From: Sally Khudairi <khudairi@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 12 May 1998 14:57:22 -0400
Message-ID: <35589B92.84605442@w3.org>
To: w3c-news@w3.org
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http://www.w3.org/ -- 12 May, 1998 -- Leading the
  Web to its full potential, the World Wide Web
  Consortium (W3C) has today released the CSS2
  (Cascading Style Sheets, level 2) specification as a
  W3C Recommendation. The CSS2 specification
  represents a cross-industry agreement on a wide
  range of features for richer and more accessible Web
  pages. CSS2 builds upon W3C's earlier
  Recommendation for CSS1, adding many new
  features while remaining fully backwards compatible.
  A W3C Recommendation indicates that a specification
  is stable, contributes to Web interoperability, and has
  been reviewed by the W3C Membership, who are in
  favor of its adoption by the industry. 

  The CSS2 specification was written and developed by
  the W3C Cascading Style Sheets and Formatting
  Properties (CSS&FP) Working Group, which includes
  key industry players such as Adobe Systems,
  Bitstream, Electricité de France, Hewlett Packard,
  IBM, Lotus, Macromedia, Microsoft, Netscape, NIST,
  Novell, Silicon Graphics, and SoftQuad; content
  specialists and invited experts in the fields of
  typography, accessibility, and internationalization; and
  document publishing input from Apple, Hotwired, the
  Productivity Works, and Studio Verso. CSS2 has also
  benefited from detailed review by the style sheet-using
  and content-creation communities, through public
  mailing lists. 

  "Today's release of the CSS2 specification
  demonstrates the effectiveness of the W3C process
  and is the culmination of more than a year's work,"
  said Chris Lilley, chair of the CSS&FP Working Group.
  "CSS2 lets Web designers create compelling
  documents, dynamic and design-rich, that also
  enhance accessibility and contribute to
  internationalization." 

  Key Benefits 

  CSS2 has powerful design capability 

  In the past, designers have achieved amazing results
  with HTML alone, for instance, by using tables to
  simulate margins and transparent images to gain
  some control over whitespace. Often, this had the
  unfortunate effect of locking the content into fixed
  assumptions of window width and font size. CSS1
  allows designers to produce the same effects more
  easily and simply, with finer control and flexibility in
  areas such as line spacing and justification. 

  CSS2 includes all the capabilities of CSS1 and adds
  improved typographic control, including dynamically
  downloadable fonts. There are new positioning
  properties to control layout; for example, to produce
  sidebars and navigation areas. Images and text can
  be layered and overlapped and can be dynamically
  moved around the screen with scripts. CSS2 also
  adds control over table layout, particularly useful for
  XML documents, and allows the automatic numbering
  of headings and lists. 

  "CSS2 will take Web design to new places," said
  Håkon Lie, W3C Style Sheets Activity Leader who, in
  1994, first proposed the concept of Cascading Style
  Sheets. "CSS1 did a fine job of replicating HTML
  extensions through style sheets. CSS2 does more
  than just capture existing practice: it greatly expands
  the Web designer's palette." 

  CSS2 makes the Web faster 

  On the Web today, it's common to create images of
  text in order to control fonts and colors. Images are
  much bigger than text, and the perceived slowness of
  the Web can, in part, be attributed to this practice.
  Web pages also commonly contain large numbers of
  repeated presentational markup, which makes the
  pages unnecessarily large. CSS2 allows authors to
  express the same rich styles, but is compact and
  text-based. Pages that use CSS2 have been shown to
  be significantly smaller and to load much faster than
  comparable image-based pages. 

  CSS2 enables cross-media publishing 

  The W3C Recommendation for CSS2 comes at a time
  when the same Web content needs to be accessible
  and compelling on an increasingly broad range of
  devices, from smart televisions to cellular phones, and
  from in-car systems to distributed print bureaus.
  Content creators can no longer afford to have their
  work limited by fixed assumptions about the display.
  CSS2 provides solutions for cross-media publishing
  and graceful repurposing of information. 

  CSS2 provides built-in accessibility 

  A side effect of reliance on tables for layout and
  images of text for typography has been a reduction in
  accessibility of Web pages for people surfing with
  image downloads turned off and for visually impaired
  users browsing with screen readers. Moving toward
  CSS removes presentational clutter from documents,
  automatically increasing accessibility without
  compromising visual design, and removes the
  necessity for hard-to-maintain separate "text-only"
  pages. 

  "The advanced presentation capabilities offered by
  CSS2 provide page designers full creative control
  without sacrificing accessibility for Web users who
  have disabilities," said Judy Brewer, Director of
  W3C's Web Accessibility Initiative International
  Program Office. "In particular, CSS2 introduces
  improved user control for layout, cascade priorities,
  support for varied media types, and aural cascading
  style sheets to control voice inflection." 

  CSS2 aids internationalization 

  There is an increasing need for the effective
  presentation of Web pages in languages other than
  English, and for presentation of documents in multiple
  languages. Matters such as writing direction, font
  styles, and quoting conventions differ from one written
  language to another. CSS2 makes significant steps
  toward being able to display multilingual documents
  well. 

  CSS2 works well with XML 

  To date, CSS1 primarily has been applied to HTML
  documents, although it has also been used with
  content written in XML. CSS2 adds features
  specifically targeted at displaying XML documents
  since these have no built-in semantics or
  presentational features; style sheets are thus
  essential for the deployment of XML content. 

  Further information on CSS can be found at
  http://www.w3.org/Style/css. 



  About the World Wide Web
  Consortium [W3C] 

  The W3C was created to lead the Web to its full
  potential by developing common protocols that
  promote its evolution and ensure its interoperability. It
  is an international industry consortium jointly run by
  the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science (LCS) in the
  USA, the National Institute for Research in Computer
  Science and Control (INRIA) in France and Keio
  University in Japan. Services provided by the
  Consortium include: a repository of information about
  the World Wide Web for developers and users;
  reference code implementations to embody and
  promote standards; and various prototype and sample
  applications to demonstrate use of new technology.
  To date, more than 255 organizations are Members of
  the Consortium. 

  For more information about the World Wide Web
  Consortium, see http://www.w3.org/
Received on Tuesday, 12 May 1998 14:57:24 UTC

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