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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 Finally, a problem related to, but notexactly about, CSS. Some authors have reported trouble with gettingtheir web hosts to correctly serve up external style sheets. Apparently, withsome web servers, the file extension .css ismapped to the MIME typex-application/css, or "Continuous SlideShow," instead of the MIME type text/css.Even older servers may not have any mapping for.css, and so will serve up the files astext/plain. 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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that it may come back to haunt you in the future. Then again, futureversions of CSS could include a way to turn off decorations withoutusing none in the wrong way, so maybethere's hope.

Finally, there is a way to change the color of adecoration without violating thespecification. As you'll recall, setting a text decoration onan element means that the entire element should have the same colorhyperlinks, but not named anchors. It sets the styles to be used fora hyperlink that points to a URI that has already been visited (i.e.,is listed in the browser's history).

anchor elements with an HREF attribute

Ashorthand way of expressing the various background properties using asingle rule. Use of this property is encouraged over the otherbackground properties because it is more widely supported anddoesn't take as long to type.