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> HTMLhelp's links for CSS
Peter Evans
post Aug 18 2007, 05:16 PM
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http://htmlhelp.com/reference/css/references.html is HTMLhelp's list of "CSS References". I glanced at them not in order to comment on them but instead to find some more material on which aspects of CSS are done right, done wrong, or ignored by which browser. But instead I experienced a trip into the past. Let's go through them, one by one:

Cascading Style Sheets, Level 1

OK.

Cascading Style Sheets, Level 2

The description reads: CSS2 provides numerous additions to CSS1, few of which are supported by browsers. Oh? I thought most of them were supported by most browsers in current, wide use on computers.

Cascading Style Sheets

OK.

CSS Frequently Asked Questions

OK, as far as it goes. I quote: Last updated on 2 November 1999. Might htmlhelp.com redescribe this as Questions Frequently Asked about CSS in the Last Century?

CSS Pointers

I quote: This is a legacy document, and retained on the site in order to avoid link rot. The content is likely no longer (a) accurate, (b) representative of the views and philosophies of current site management, or © up to date.

(Uh, no, not quite. It doesn't say anything about copyright; it instead says "or parenthesis-c-parenthesis up to date".)

CSS Bugs/Workarounds

Same as for "CSS Pointers".

The House of Style

Ah, something useful!

Hide CSS from Browsers

Last revised almost five years ago. More disturbingly, this set of pages seems to suggest that any old hack is convenient if it renders CSS invisible to certain browsers but visible to others. There's little attention here to standards and little to future, as yet unimagined browsers. More strangely, there seems to be no mention of Microsoft's own "conditional comments" hack. Jens Meiert explains Why “Conditional Comments” are bad, repeat: bad, but I find him unconvincing; he should be praised for bringing up the matter and allowing other writers on that very page (notably Jon Christopher) to explain how (in a world lumbered with MSIE) "conditional comments" are, on the contrary, good (repeat good).

Style Sheets Known Issues

Dead link. And anyway about NS4, a dead (I hope!) browser. (We cater for the dwindling number of eccentric users of NS4 by use of @import; end of story.)

CSS support in Amaya

Dead link.
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Darin McGrew
post Aug 18 2007, 07:28 PM
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Thanks. I made the easy changes.

QUOTE(Peter Evans @ Aug 18 2007, 03:16 PM) *
Cascading Style Sheets, Level 2

The description reads: CSS2 provides numerous additions to CSS1, few of which are supported by browsers. Oh? I thought most of them were supported by most browsers in current, wide use on computers.
The ones that still aren't supported have been dropped from CSS 2.1. Some may reappear (possibly in an altered form) in CSS 3+

QUOTE(Peter Evans @ Aug 18 2007, 03:16 PM) *
CSS Frequently Asked Questions

OK, as far as it goes. I quote: Last updated on 2 November 1999. Might htmlhelp.com redescribe this as Questions Frequently Asked about CSS in the Last Century?
Is there a more current CSS-specific FAQ that we could/should link to? I don't want to drop this one just because they haven't kept up with the huge blink.gif number of changes to CSS during the past 8 years.

QUOTE(Peter Evans @ Aug 18 2007, 03:16 PM) *
Hide CSS from Browsers

Last revised almost five years ago. More disturbingly,[snip valid concerns]
I think we still need to link to a resource explaining how to hide CSS from old, buggy browsers. Can you suggest a better resource so I can replace this link?

While I'm at it, are there any other CSS resources that we should link to? Eric Meyer's site comes to mind. CSS Zen Garden is interesting, but needs a big disclaimer that many of the designs are as brittle as any of the pre-CSS designs that the site complain about.


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Peter Evans
post Aug 18 2007, 09:09 PM
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QUOTE(Darin McGrew @ Aug 19 2007, 09:28 AM) *

Thanks. I made the easy changes.


Fast work! This site may look somnolent, but appearances can deceive.

QUOTE(Darin McGrew @ Aug 19 2007, 09:28 AM) *
The [innovations of CSS 2.0] that still aren't supported have been dropped from CSS 2.1. Some may reappear (possibly in an altered form) in CSS 3+


Oh, right, yes.

Ulp: I realize I've been using as a reference Myer's book Cascading Style Sheets 2.0. Bad idea, at least as long as I'm not supplementing it with a list of differences between 2.0 and 2.1.

Your addition of a link to "Cascading Style Sheets, Level 2 Revision 1 (CSS 2.1)" is a major improvement, but one part of the description is a bit opaque, viz: represents a "snapshot" of CSS features that were implemented interoperably when it was published. I think you mean was fairly well supported by the latest browsers even from the time of its introduction. I could be very wrong here, but if I'm right then this appears to be of historic interest; more useful would be is fairly well supported by browser versions released since [year].

Yes, the CSS FAQ is good. But it's old. That it's old isn't a good reason to drop it; keeping it is no reason not to concede that it's old. Instead of A list of frequently asked questions concerning CSS, how about something like An old list of frequently asked questions concerning CSS. Newer issues in CSS of course go unmentioned, but very little of what's explained here is obsolete. (That's from memory: I haven't rechecked to see what the FAQ actually says, or attempted to work out how much of it actually is obsolete.)

QUOTE(Darin McGrew @ Aug 19 2007, 09:28 AM) *
I think we still need to link to a resource explaining how to hide CSS from old, buggy browsers. Can you suggest a better resource so I can replace this link?


I've seen others recently but I didn't note where they were. (Ditto for the tables of which aspect of CSS is done right, done almost right, screwed up or ignored by which version of which browser.)

(Incidentally, I wonder if old, buggy browsers other than MSIE [or perhaps Safari] are much of an issue. People continue to use old versions of MSIE for any number of reasons; but I'd have guessed that people who were sufficiently enterprising to have installed any alternative would also be inclined to replace/update them.)

One problem in choosing what good stuff should be linked to is the recent trend of blogification. It certainly has its benefits -- if Meiert hadn't allowed people to post their reactions to his condemnation of MS's "conditional comments", I wouldn't realize how good they were! -- but I don't suppose I'm alone in greatly preferring a separation (similar to what you get in Wikipedia at its best) between (a) a terse consensus on the "facts" and (b) perhaps lengthy arguments about these. But useful stuff does get written up in blogs and quasiblogs, and we have to put up with a low signal-to-noise ratio in order to get those good signals.

QUOTE(Darin McGrew @ Aug 19 2007, 09:28 AM) *
While I'm at it, are there any other CSS resources that we should link to? Eric Meyer's site comes to mind. CSS Zen Garden is interesting, but needs a big disclaimer that many of the designs are as brittle as any of the pre-CSS designs that the site complain about.


There certainly are other good sites. Again, my only connection for the next couple of days is via modem, so I'm disinclined to do much websearching for these sites any time very soon. But I'll try to do so soonish and I'm sure your regular squad of informed contributors already know some good ones and can judge them all more sagely than I can.


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Frederiek
post Aug 19 2007, 05:13 AM
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To mention just a few:

Cascading Style Sheets by Web Design References (University of Minnesota Duluth) (a frequently updated list of CSS related articles and tutorials on the web)
Cascading Style Sheets by Websitetips (a list of CSS related articles and tutorials, divided into sections)
CSS 2.1 selectors by 456bereastreet (a three part article on CSS 2 selectors)
CSS Crib Sheet by Mezzoblue (Dave Shea of Zen Garden) (This is an attempt to make the design process easier, and provide a quick reference to check when you run into trouble.)

This post has been edited by Frederiek: Aug 19 2007, 05:13 AM


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Peter Evans
post Aug 19 2007, 09:46 AM
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I think the Duluth list (the first of Frederiek's set) may tell people all that they need to know.
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Frederiek
post Aug 19 2007, 01:27 PM
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And you'll probably find the others at Duluth too.


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