Re: [CSS21] body { padding: 8px; } HTML40 sample stylesheet

On Wed, 23 Jul 2003, Chris Moschini wrote:

> In the HTML40 sample stylesheet provided with all versions of CSS so
> far, it says:
> body { padding: 8px; line-height: 1.12em }

Actually there are only two versions of CSS defined, and CSS 1
specification has a sample style sheet for HTML 2.0, with

  margin: 1em;
  font-family: serif;
  line-height: 1.1;
  background: white;
  color: black;

whereas the one in CSS 2 has

BODY            { padding: 8px; line-height: 1.33 }

What you quote is from the CSS 2.1 draft.

Generally, the sample style sheet in the CSS 2 spefication deviates in
several (and partly odd) ways from the one in CSS 1, and there are strange
changes in CSS 2.1. In particular, there's a tendency from using the
logical em unit to using px values. Except for line-height, where CSS 2.1
uses the em unit, which is very strange. (It means that the computed value
is inherited, so the line spacing in inner elements will _not_ be in
proportion to their own font size.) And moving back to a small value like
1.12 is strange too.

On the other hand, the sample style sheets have largely been ignored by
browser vendors. They are mostly just exercises - though they illustrate
some ideas and principles in a useful way. Their semi-normative status
("Developers are encouraged to use it as a default style sheet in their
implementations.") might still cause some trouble - some people might
actually take them seriously when writing or modifying browsers.

Hence, I think the sample style sheet should be removed, if a revised
version of CSS 2 is issued. Well, the other option would be to write the
sample style sheet carefully, after first deciding whether it tries to
describe browser practices or give a recommendation. But this wouldn't be

> Is this accurate given the CSS box model?

Why not?

> What then are the height and width of the body tag?

When not set, the initial value of auto applies. What _that_ means is a
different thing. But do you think the height or width should be set to
some other values? Why, and to which values?

Jukka "Yucca" Korpela,

Received on Wednesday, 23 July 2003 16:17:53 UTC