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A.3. Online Communities

One can read only so much before it comes time to join a discussion and ask some questions. There are two major venues for discussions about CSS, but each is concerned with a specific type of discussion -- so make sure you go to the right place.

A.3.1. comp.infosystems.www.authoring.stylesheets

This Usenet group, often abbreviated as ciwas (pronounced "see-wass"), is the gathering place for CSS authors. A number of experts in the field check this newsgroup regularly, this author among them, and all are there for one primary reason: to help new CSS authors over the hurdles that learning any new language will generate. The secondary reason is for the spirited debates that occasionally erupt over some aspect of CSS, or a browser's implementation thereof. Rather unusually for a newsgroup, the signal-to-noise ratio stayed fairly high for the last few years of the 1990s, and will with any luck continue in that vein.


Anyone who wishes to be involved in discussing the future course of CSS, and to clearing up ambiguities in the specifications, should subscribe to this list. The members of the list are all, in one fashion or another, interested in making CSS better than it is already. Please note: www-style is not the place to ask for assistance with writing CSS. For help with CSS authoring problems, visit ciwas instead. Questions beginning with "How do I ... ?" are frowned upon by the regulars of www-style and are usually redirected to a more appropriate forum such as ciwas. On the other hand, questions that begin "Why can't I ... ?" or "Wouldn't it be cool if ... ?" are generally welcome, so long as they relate to some ability that appears to be missing from CSS.

Messages to www-style are only accepted if the sender is already subscribed to the list. In order to subscribe, send email to with the word subscribe in the subject of the message; to unsubscribe, send email to with the word unsubscribe in the subject of the message.

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do this correctly. Also,background-color is not inherited. Its defaultvalue istransparent,which makes sense; if an element doesn't have a defined color,then its background should be transparent so that the background ofits ancestor elements will be visible. Imagine for a moment that thedefault value were something else, such as silver.markup:

<IMG SRC="b5.gif" style="float: right;" alt="section b5">

As Figure 7-63 makes clear, the image "floats" to the right side of the browser window. This is just what we expect. However, some interesting issues are raised in the course of floating elements in CSS.

Figure 7-63

Figure 7-63. A floating image

Figure 8-55.

Figure 8-55

Figure 8-55. The effects of a very small inline box

On the other hand, we could set the "tall" text to have aline-height which is actually bigger than itsfont-size. For example:

<P STYLE="font-size: 12px; line-height: 12px;">This is text, <EM>some of which is emphasized</EM>, plus other text<BR>which is <B STYLE="font-size: 24px;">boldfaced</B>