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Chapter 4. Using CSS with HTML > CSS and Deprecated Elements and Attributes

CSS and Deprecated Elements and Attributes

To help purge HTML of ad-hoc elements and attributes that were introduced over time, primarily by browser manufacturers, to govern the appearance and display of Web pages, the W3C has declared a number of elements and attributes as deprecated in HTML 4. A deprecated element or attribute is one which users are encouraged to avoid using, since the same or better results now can be produced using style sheets alone. Users are also warned that deprecated elements may be declared obsolete in future versions of HTML (although this is only really relevant to XHTML users, since HTML 4.01 is supposed to be the final version of HTML). An obsolete element or attribute should not be used, since current or future browsers are not required to support it.

Just because an element or attribute is deprecated doesn't mean that it can't be used in a Web page, however. They are still legal elements and attributes which current Web browsers are required to support. It is also unlikely elements or attributes deprecated in HTML 4.01 will be declared obsolete in the future, since HTML 4.01 is supposedly the final version of HTML. XHTML 1 is a different case, however—deprecated elements and attributes in XHTML 1 are highly likely to be declared obsolete in future versions of XHTML.


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