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08 June 2011, 16:22

Stylesheets reloaded: W3C releases CSS 2.1 after 13 years

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W3C, the standards body for the web, has published the Cascading Style Sheet Specification 2.1 (CSS 2.1) as a Recommendation, making it an official standard. CSS 2.1 is a language that adds style to web content. It supersedes CSS 2, which was released 13 years ago, and collects all previously published errata of CSS 2 into one document. Most web users won't experience any difference while visiting pages that use CSS 2.1 stylesheets as most recent browsers already implement most of the definitions.

Its authors explain that, despite breaking CSS 2's forward compatibility with CSS 2.1, the new standard keeps up with the state of CSS as implemented in recent browsers. Almost no browser ever implemented full CSS 2 compliance, but the W3C reassures developers that there is a good chance that they will comply with more of the new rules.

The release is considered an intermediate stage on the way to CSS 3 which the W3C has been working on since 2002. It implements few new features, and removes some definitions that never have been implemented. It adds a few new property values such as "orange" to the attribute "color", the value "inline-block" to "display", "none" and "normal" to the property "content" and a new "progress" value for "cursor".

CSS 2.1 comes with a new definition of how to do the complex rendering of elements with fixed positions and clarifies the interface to HTML's "style" tag. The W3C released the CSS 2.1 specification free of charge and for unmodified, unrestricted distribution.

(Nils Magnus / sno)

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