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The Cutting Edge

Now let's take a look at the real cutting-edge stuff that has just arrived or is just around the corner: style sheets, embedded fonts, and the tantalizing prospects of XML and SGL. I'll show you real-world examples when and where I can, but sometimes it isn't possible. Some of these technologies are not quite supported yet (XML and SGL), and some are supported unreliably (cascading style sheets). What groups these technologies all together here is their usefulness; I'll explain the pros and cons as I go.

Cascading Style Sheets

Way back when the Web was created, the founders who were creating HTML didn't much care about the appearance of the information they were trying to send as long as it was readable. So (just as an example) they essentially wrote browser instructions that declared, "All text on a Web page will be this size in this font, all margins will be this wide, and that's that, end of story." Nowadays, some 10 years later, Web page designers have been tearing out their hair trying to get around these instructions so that they can have a little more choice and control.


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