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January 7, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 1:00pm


By CBR Staff Writer

In an effort to make the HTML Hypertext Markup Language a more serious contender as a publishing tool, the W3C World Wide Web Consortium has endorsed a specification for cascading style sheets, called CSS1. The specification will enable web publishers to send text and formatting information separately over the internet and alter the look of an entire web site by changing a stylesheet rather than each individual page. It will also bring more advanced formatting features to HTML, like margins, indents, typefaces, and colors, enabling webmasters to use HTML instead of big graphical files for complex formatting. Hoakon Lie, the W3C’s spokesman on CSS1, says that because style sheets transfer formatting information more efficiently, their adoption will speed up the internet. Instead of turning, for example, a 20 character headline into a 1K or 2K graphics file in gif format, webmasters will be able to write the headline in a few hundred characters of style sheet code. Microsoft Corp’s Internet Explorer 3.0 already has a partial implementation of CSS1 and it has been included in the recently launched beta test version of Netscape Communications Corp’s Communicator. Lie’s group at the W3C is working with HTML vendors to add printing options and more advanced layout capabilities into future versions of CSS1. The W3C also wants style sheets to work with scripting languages, and has recently begun work on developing application programming interfaces that would allow CSS1 to interoperate with Microsoft’s VBScript and Netscape’s JavaScript languages.

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