Book HomeCascading Style Sheets: The Definitive GuideSearch this book Friday 31st of October 2014 07:17:50 PM

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width defaults to auto. This is illustrated in Figure 8-17.

Figure 8-17

Figure 8-17. Everything set to auto

Note that since horizontal margins do not collapse, the padding, borders, and margin of a parent element can affect its children. This is an indirect effect, of course, in that the margins (and so on) of an element can induce an offset for child elements. Vertical margins are still collapsed, as shown in Figure 8-18:

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language can be included in the style sheet -- only style rules. Here's the markup of an external style sheet:

H1 {color: red;}
H2 {color: maroon; background: white;}
H3 {color: white; background: black; font: medium Helvetica;}

That's all there is to it -- no STYLE tags, no HTML tags at all, just plain-and-simple style declarations. These are saved into a plain text file and are usually given an extension of .css

<P STYLE="height: 3em;">

then the browser is supposed to provide a way to see all content without increasing the height. This could possibly mean adding a scrollbar to the element, as shown in Figure 8-4.

Figure 8-4

Figure 8-4. One way to handle a short height on a tall element

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. XML documents may be stored in files or databases. When stored in files, XML documents are simply plain text files with tags (and possibly DTDs). It is very easy to save your XML documents to a text file and pass the text file around to other machines, platforms and programs (as long as they can understand the data). In the worst case scenario, XML documents (files) can be viewed in a text editor on just about any platform.

XML documents are also naturally committed to a database (relational or object) or any other kind of XML document store. There are commercial products available which allow you to save XML documents to an XML storage layer (which is not a database per se), like Datachannel's XStore and ODI's eXcelon. These XML store solutions are quite expensive ($10,000 to $20,000 range).

XML documents are also quite naturally retrieved from a persistence layer (databases, file systems, XML stores). This lends XML to be used in real world applications where the information being used by different parts of a system is the most important thing.

XML is platform independent, textual information

Information in an XML document is stored in plain-text. This might seem like a restriction if were thinking of embedding binary information in an XML document. There are several advantages to keeping things plain text. First, it is easy to write parsers and all other XML enabling technology on different platforms. Second, it makes everything very interoperable by staying with the lowest common denominator approach. This is the whole reason the web is so successful despite all its flaws. By accepting and sending information in plain text format, programs running on disparate platforms can communicate with each other. This also makes it easy to integrate new programs on top of older ones (without rewriting the old programs), by simply making the interface between the new and old program use XML.

faces with labels like Italic, Cursive,and Kursivare usually mapped to the italic keyword, whileoblique can be assigned faces with labels such asOblique, Slanted,and Incline.fontIE4 P/Q IE5 P/Y NN4 P/P Op3 Y/-

This is ashorthand property for the other font properties. Any of these valuesmay be omitted except for font-size andfont-family, which are always required for a validfont declaration. Note the following incorrect examples.


This is used to declare a specific fontto be used, or a generic font family, or both. Note that the use of aspecific font family is dependent on the user having said font