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Chapter 18. The CSS Saga

Chapter 18. The CSS Saga

The saga of CSS starts in 1994. One of the authors of this book works at CERN – the cradle of the Web – and the Web is starting to be used as a platform for electronic publishing. One crucial part of a publishing platform is missing, however: There is no way to style documents. For example, there is no way to describe a newspaper-like layout in a Web page. Having worked on personalized newspaper presentations at the MIT Media Laboratory, Håkon saw the need for a style sheet language for the Web.

Style sheets in browsers were not an entirely new idea. The separation of document structure from the document’s layout had been a goal of HTML from its inception in 1990. Tim Berners-Lee wrote his NeXT browser/editor in such a way that he could determine the style with a simple style sheet. However, he didn’t publish the syntax for the style sheets, considering it a matter for each browser to decide how to best display pages to its users. In 1992, Pei Wei developed a browser called “Viola,” which had its own style sheet language.


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