Tinderbox Forum

Interesting information about the history and the future of CSS

I’ve been reading my way through the WHATWG Living Standards for HTML. And that led me to a specification listing the features of HTML and CSS that can be used to format material for print production.

The author of this standard is Håkon W Lie who first proposed a Cascading Style Sheet scheme for HTML documents in 1994 while working at CERN.

He states that HTML and CSS are already used by publishers to produce printed media with one company offering very expensive commercial software.
If anyone is interested in knowing more, here’s a link to an introductory guide.


It being early days for the Web, one other way his idea spread was his book Cascading style Sheets: designing for the Web (see here, in the Internet archive)—albeit published in 1997, which is still in my bookcase somewhere. All very novel at a time when talk was more about whether HTML tags were uppercase or not, whether attribute values had to be in quotes, and the horror of <FONT> tags everywhere.

I remember buying Cascading Style Sheets in a SF bookstore, when over there to exhibit at Macworld & devouring it on the flight on the way home. Was so disappointed when the page layout stuff took forever to be specified. We had a cross-platform report-writer at the time that needed a serialisation format and ended up rolling our own lean XML declaration section in the absence of standards.

Yup, still have it on my bookshelf, along with the paper version of CSS Zen Garden