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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 900 <SPAN> 700 <STRONG> 400 <B> 300 <STRONG> 200 </STRONG></B></STRONG></SPAN>. </P> <!-- ...or, to put it another way... --> <P> bold <SPAN> bold <STRONG> regular <B> regular <STRONG> regular </STRONG></B></STRONG></SPAN>. </P>

Ignoring the fact that this would be entirely counterintuitive, what we see in Figure 5-16 is that the main paragraph unsubscribe in the subject of the message.

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shorthand properties like border-color andborder-style, they aren't always a whole lotof help. For example, you might want to set all H1elements to have a thick, gray, solid border, but only along thebottom. There are two ways to accomplish this:

H1 {border-bottom: thick solid gray;}

This will apply the values to the bottom border alone, as shown inFigure 7-45, leaving the others to their defaults.Since the default border style is none, no bordersbottom border that will extend from the left edge of the text all theway out to the right edge of the browser window. This line will alsoinherit the green color of the text and so really punch up the factthat the title and navigation buttons are separate from the rest ofthe page.

Now that this is all done, we need to link the style sheet into thesite's pages. The above declarations are collected into asingle file, which is saved to a file with the URL Thenall of the site's pages are modified so that theirwould only happen if those faces had the top two weight levelsalready assigned. Otherwise, the user agent might ignore them, andassign 800 and 900 to the Boldface instead, or it might assign them both to one or the other of theBlack variants.

Finally, let's consider a stripped-down version of Times, inwhich there are only two weight variants, TimesRegular and TimesBold,as shown in Table 5-2.