The Continuing Development Of Css As A Web Standard

The Continuing Development Of Css As A Web Standard

Cascading style sheets were formally introduced by the​ W3C in​ 1997 and​ in​ the​ nine years since have made gradual progress to​ becoming a​ web standard. Although the​ W3C mandates style sheets instead of​ HTML formatting for​ internal styles, many web designers have been slow to​ adopt CSS.

Graphic designers, especially, have been slow to​ accept CSS since it​ does not allow the​ complex designs made possible by the​ use of​ nested tables without concentrated testing and​ workarounds. That is​ because CSS is​ not universally cross-browser compatible. the​ first release of​ CSS in​ 1997 was notorious for​ breaking on a​ variety of​ browsers. the​ second, and​ current, release provides more stability but still causes unexpected results on older browsers.

In light of​ the​ cross-browser difficulties of​ CSS. many designers have adopted a​ hybrid standard, using CSS for​ styling text but continuing to​ use nested tables to​ structure their pages. This provides a​ measure of​ stability and​ control to​ a​ web designer who does not have the​ time or​ inclination to​ learn advanced CSS. However, this practice is​ severely frowned on by both the​ W3C and​ by a​ small but influential group of​ CSS designers who claim that the​ use of​ nested tables slows down page loading and​ that CSS can, with proper application, create complex designs just as​ well as​ nested tables.

However, many freelance web designers have found that their clients are unwilling to​ accept the​ additional cost and​ time to​ create a​ completely CSS-based design. This attitude is​ beginning to​ change at​ the​ corporate level, however, as​ more and​ more sites are redesigned using pure CSS.

The continuing acceptance of​ CSS as​ a​ web standard has also been hampered by the​ popularity of​ Macromedia Flash as​ a​ design tool. Completely vector-based and​ imported into a​ web page by the​ use of​ a​ plug-in, Flash offers enormous flexibility in​ creating complex navigation systems, a​ historically weak point of​ CSS. Flash also allows a​ higher level of​ artistic expression than the​ more limited CSS, which is​ primarily designed to​ deliver information. This has created a​ divide in​ the​ web design community to​ the​ point where there are basically two camps of​ web designers, those who use Flash and​ those who don't. the​ debate over the​ merits of​ CSS versus Flash has been known to​ get quite heated on occasion.

Many have predicted that the​ third release of​ CSS will solve many of​ the​ problems hampering widespread acceptance of​ CSS as​ a​ web standard. However, the​ third release has been in​ development since 1998 and​ is​ not expected to​ be completed anytime soon.

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