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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.

A.3.2. www-style@w3.org

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 loaded, and all of their style rules will be used in the display of this document:

@import url(sheet2.css);
@import url(blueworld.css);
@import url(zany.css);

WARNING

Only Internet Explorer 4.x/5.x and Opera 3.x support @import; Navigator 4.x ignores this method of applying styles to a document. This can actually be used to 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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P {background-color: silver;}
P.one {margin: 10px;}
Figure 7-7

Figure 7-7. Comparative paragraphs

(Again, the background color helps show the content area, and the dashed lines are for illustrative purposes only.) As Figure 7-7 demonstrates, 10 pixels of space are added to each side of the content area. This is somewhat similar to using the HSPACE and VSPACE attributes in HTML. In fact, you can use margin to set extra space around an image. Let's say you want 1 em of space surrounding all images: