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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.

Java Application Layer

All of the code that you write (in your Java classes) might be considered the Java application layer. Other layers are the XML Parser layer, the XML source (that supplies the XML data that is necessary), and the persistence engine (where the data is actually stored and retrieved by the source).

Your code (in the Java application layer) has to make use of the DOM or SAX API and the XML parser in order to access the information in XML documents (that come from your source). The source might be responsible for pulling data from different persistence engines (relational or object databases) and even the web (dynamically generated websites that supply only XML data).

In your application layer, you can create many interesting Java applications. The apps can run on the server side or client side or both. They may have graphical user interfaces or they may be web based. When I use the word application or app in this chapter, I don't exclude Java applets; I mean application (or app) in the broad sense of the word, i.e., I mean it to describe a software system written in Java that solves a real-world problem.

3 Main categories

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 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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In practice, most browsers will not do this. They will instead simply increase the height of the element, as though the value of height had been set to auto. This is permitted under CSS1, which states that browsers can ignore any value of height other than auto if an element is not a replaced element such as an image. Under CSS2, it is possible to set up a situation where scrollbars would be applied to an element such as a to the text of the list item.

Just in case you're unfamiliar with the concept of a"bullet," it's the little decoration to the side ofa list item, as depicted in Figure 7-79.

Figure 7-79

Figure 7-79. Bullets

In an unordered list, these will be little symbols, but in an orderedlist, the bullet could be a letter or number.

TD.home {background: yellow;}

This is a fast, easy way to make a "toolbar" a littlemore active, without the need for fitting BGCOLORattributes on to specific table cells.

TIP

By taking this approach, it's possible to take the toolbar andsplit it into a separate file, and then include that file on everypage by means of a server-side include.

WARNING

Borders cannot be applied to inline elements inNavigator 4.x orExplorer4.x/5.x. Only Opera 3.x draws borders aroundinline elements, and it only caps the beginning and end of theelement. This is in agreement with the CSS specification, althoughthis is not discussed here (see Chapter 8, "Visual Formatting", formore details).