What is CSS

CSS advantages, modules and historical overview

It is worth remembering, that we live in a world of constant changes, where HTML and CSS already loudly knock at our doors. Today’s article will help you to get a quick insight on what is CSS, its advantages, modules and have a quick historical overview on its development.

What is CSS? CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is the simple language of design, intended to simplify the process of presentation of web pages. CSS processes the overall appearance of web pages. Using CSS, you can control the color of the text, style of fonts, distance between paragraphs, the sizes and arrangement of columns, the applied background images and colors, design models, display options on different devices and sizes of the screen. And there is also a variety of other effects you will get, when using CSS.

It is easy to master and understand CSS, but it provides powerful control over presentation HTML-document. Most often CSS is combined with markup languages of HTML or XHTML. Web design specialists and other IT contractors use CSS coupled with HTML on the majority of websites that they build these days. The use off CSS by these contractors is usually because it doesn't negate the terms of their contractor insurance sickness cover policies. Even if you have insurance as a contractor, you need to ensure that you minimise the risk of claims too.

Advantages of CSS

CSS saves your time. You can write one CSS, and then use the same table on several HTML-pages. You can define style for each HTML-element and apply it to many web pages.

Pages are loaded faster. If you use CSS, you do not need to write attributes of HTML-tags every single time. Just write one CSS rule for the tag and apply it to all occurrences of this tag. Thus, smaller quantity of codes guarantees faster time for loading.

Simplicity of service. In order to make global changes, you just need change the style, and all elements on all web pages will be automatically updated.

The improved styles for HTML. CSS has much broader set of attributes, than HTML therefore you can make your HTML-page a better one in comparison with HTML attributes.

Compatibility of several devices. Stylesheets allow to optimize content for more than one type of devices. Using the same HTML-document, it is possible to submit various versions of website for pocket devices, such as PDA and cell phones, or for the printing.

Global web standards. Now HTML attributes have become outdated, and it is recommended to use CSS. Therefore it would be quite good to begin to use CSS in all HTML-pages to make them compatible to future browsers

Offline view mode. Web applications can store CSS locally with the help of offline cache. Using it, we can look through the websites in offline mode. The cache also guarantees fast loading and better general productivity of website. Independence from platform. The script provides independence from platform and supports the latest browsers.

Historical overview: who creates and supports CSS

CSS was first proposed by Håkon Wium Lie on October 10, 1994 and was supported through group of people of W3C, who were called as working group of CSS. The working group of CSS creates documents called by specifications. When the specification is discussed and officially approved by members of W3C, it becomes a recommendation.

These ratified specifications are called recommendations, as W3C does not control the actual realization of language. The independent companies and the organizations create this software. Note: Consortium of World Wide Web (The World Wide Web Consortium) or W3C is a group, which makes recommendations on how the Internet works and how it should develop.

History of CSS: creation of different versions

Cascade stylesheets, level 1 (CSS1), suggested by W3C as a recommendation in December, 1996. In this version the CSS language and also the simple model of visual formatting for all HTML-tags is described.

CSS2 became the recommendation of W3C in May, 1998 and is based on CSS1. This version adds support for concrete stylesheets, for example, for printers and sound devices, uploaded fonts, elements of positioning and tables.

CSS3 became the recommendation of W3C in June, 1999 and is based on older versions of CSS. He is divided into documentation which is called “Modules”, where each module has new expanded functions defined in CSS2.

CSS3 Modules

  • CSS3 modules have old CSS specifications and also expanded functions
  • Selectors
  • Box model
  • Backgrounds and borders
  • Image value and replaced content
  • Text effects
  • 2D/3D transformations
  • Animation
  • Arrangement of several columns
  • User interface