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1.4. Style Sheets

A style sheet is a definition of how content should be rendered on the page. The link between a style sheet and the content it influences is either the tag name of the HTML element that holds the content or an identifier associated with the element by way of an attribute (such as the ID or CLASS attribute). When a style sheet defines a border, the style definition doesn't know (or care) whether the border will be wrapped around a paragraph of text, an image, or an arbitrary group of elements. All the style knows is that it specifies a border of a particular thickness, color, and type for whatever element or identifier is associated with the style. That's how the separation of style from content works: the content is ignorant of the style and the style is ignorant of the content.

The standardization efforts for style sheets are still trying to establish themselves, despite the fact that some versions have already been published. At the time the Version 4 implementations of Navigator and Internet Explorer were under construction, there were two separate, but related, style sheet efforts underway: Cascading Style Sheets Level 1 (CSS1) and Cascading Style Sheets-Positioning (CSS-P). The CSS-P functionality is being blended into the primary specification for the next version of CSS, Cascading Style Sheets Level 2 (CSS2). All CSS standards activity is under the auspices of the W3C (http://www.w3c.org/Style/). Chapter 10, provides a complete reference for all the style attributes available in CSS1 and CSS2.


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