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  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    Can anyone tell me what CSS is exactly? I have a good idea, but humor me as if I had no idea whatsoever.

    Also, can anyone point me towards a good tutorial on Perl subrooutines? I notice some CGI scripts end like this:

    script.cgi?=action

    I'm sort of interested in that...if I don't miss my guess it seems as if going to a URL like that within a script calls a subroutine in there, which usually prints and HTML document...



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    Chris - TWT Commish
    http://www.warningtrack.net
    "Baseball - Baked Fresh Daily"

  2. #2
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    The World Wide Web Consortium says:
    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote/font><HR>
    Style sheets describe how documents are presented on screens, in print, or perhaps how they are pronounced. W3C has actively promoted the use of style sheets on the Web since the Consortium was founded in 1994. The Style Sheets Activity has produced two W3C Recommendations (CSS1 and CSS2) which are widely, although not consistently, implemented in browsers.

    By attaching style sheets to structured documents on the Web (e.g. HTML), authors and readers can influence the presentation of documents without sacrificing device-independence or adding new HTML tags.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


    CSS is a formatting specification to be used in conjunction with HTML. It is designed to give you more control over the varying elements in your design. Using a system of rules each element inherits the properties of its parent elements. i.e. If you want to use 12 point verdana through out your entire site you can say: &lt;body style='font-size:12pt; font-family:Verdana'&gt;. Every element within the Body will inherit that font and size.

    By removing the formatting from your direct HTML you gain a benefit in smaller download sizes plus more consistancy in your work. If you link your styles sheets in via an external file you can change the entire look and feel of a site with editing one file. While hand editing a small site of 30-40 pages is ok, what happens when you want to redesign a medium or large site consisting of thousands of pages?
    Read this article on the Sitepoint Network as it is a good overview of CSS: http://www.webmasterbase.com/article.php3?aid=43&pid=0

    You can find out more and CSS by going to: http://www.w3.org/Style/

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    Wayne Luke
    WR Moderator
    Internet Media Provider

    [This message has been edited by wluke (edited April 11, 2000).]

  3. #3
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    Sure but think about this.

    The &lt;font&gt; and &lt;basefont&gt; tags have been deprecated meaning future browsers don't have to support them. In the future the only way to specify font information will be CSS.

    The bgcolor and align attributes have been deprecated. In the future the only way to control alignment and color will be through CSS.

    &lt;STRIKE&gt;, &lt;S&gt;, and &lt;U&gt; have been deprecated in favor of CSS.

    This is only in HTML 4.01 ( http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/ ). What will happen when the browsers move to XHTML which is based entirely on XML and replaces HTML. Plus CSS gives you so much more control over your document then HTML ever could. Want a border background but want it on the right hand side of the page regardless of resolution? CSS can do that. HTML can't. Only want your background to repeat across the top of the page? CSS can do that. Don't want a scrolling background in Navigator? CSS can do that.

    How about something more practical. With CSS your form elements can be made to match your site's look and feel. For an example go to www.aspin.com and look at the search box in the upper right hand corner. What if you have a large hard to read table? You can use CSS and a little javascript to highlight the current row as the user mouses over it. The very popular dropdown menus that highlight your selection as you mouse over is an example of this. They wouldn't be possible without CSS. CSS allows you to have graphical bullets in your lists instead of the text based ones HTML creates.

    Probably the most important feature of CSS is that it allows you to position your elements exactly where you want them down to the pixel. This allows you to layer graphics and text on top of each other, it allows precise layout without resulting to bulky tables which can double the size of your HTML.

    CSS allows for clean content without formatting. If you format your document for the screen it doesn't necessarily print well. If you use CSS to format your document then you can account for that and change the format for your printer, hand-held device, braille reader, aural readers or any one of the other devices being used to browse the web today.

    Did you know that in the United States that if you do business on the Internet that it falls under the Americans with Disabilities Act? This means you have to make your content available to the color blind, blind, and deaf or otherwise disabled people. Check out: http://www.alistapart.com/stories/ticking/.



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    Wayne Luke
    WR Moderator
    Internet Media Provider

  4. #4
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    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote/font><HR>While hand editing a small site of 30-40 pages is ok, <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Hand editing drives me crazy with sites of four pages! My attempts w/ css haven't been successful yet as it seems the specified styles don't seem to make it to all the desired "variables" (obviously I am doing something wrong), thus many elements do not appear as intended... but I realize css is a MUST and I will work it out eventually.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    I don't get it...I see its use, but can't that be done with SSI? Which is a lot easier to implement?



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    Chris - TWT Commish
    http://www.warningtrack.net
    "Baseball - Baked Fresh Daily"

  6. #6
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    SSI and CSS are two different things.

    CSS lets you control the appearance of all your documents from just a single master file (your stylesheet). You don't have to worry about font tags, or colors. It can all be specified through a style sheet.

    SSI (Server Side Includes) have nothing to do with style. They are useful when you know that an element of your page layout is going to appear on all (or most) of your pages (navigation, for example), so you can take that piece of code, put it into a separate file and include it in all your pages. Once again - easy updating, rather than changing every page, edit a single file.

    Good tutorial on CSS: http://webreference.com/html/tutorials/


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