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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 these effectively do not apply to the top and bottom of a nonreplacedinline element, and so don't affect the height of the line box.The ends of the element are another story, as we saw in Chapter 7, "Boxes and Borders". Once again, this is because an inline elementthat is displayed on multiple lines is just the same as a single-lineelement that has been broken into pieces. Consult Figure 8-60 for a more detailed look at this situationcaused by using these styles:

SPAN {border: 1px dashed black; padding: 4pt; margin: 8pt;}
Figure 8-60

Figure 8-60. Inline margins and line-box layout

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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  • If 300 is unassigned, it is given the next variant lighter than 400. If no lighter variant is available, 300 is assigned the same variant as 400. In this case, it will usually be "Normal" or "Medium." This method is also used for 200 and 100.

  • If 600 is unassigned, it is given the next variant

    P {position: relative;}   /* establish containing blocks */<B STYLE="position: absolute; top: auto; right: 0; bottom: 0; left: auto;width: 8em; height: 4em;">...</B>
    Figure 9-19

    Figure 9-19. The effects of absolute positioning

    For the most part, the text in both paragraphs looks fairly normal.In the second one, however, the place where the boldface elementwould have appeared is simply closed up, and the positioned textoverlaps the some of the content. There is no way to avoid this,short of positioning the boldfaced text outside of the paragraph (by</P>

    Even though the LINE tags don't exist, thesituation is the same as if they did. Each line of text inheritsstyles from the paragraph, so they may as well be contained withintags such as these. Therefore, the only reason we createline-height rules for block-level elements is sothat we don't have to explicitly declare aline-height for all its inline elements, fictionalor otherwise.

    addition to the fact that the text characters "lean," theserifs may be altered in an italic face. Oblique text, on the otherhand, is simply a slanted version of the normal, upright text. Fontfaces with labels like Italic,
    Cursive,and Kursivare usually mapped to the italic keyword, whileoblique can be assigned faces with labels such asOblique,