W3C For Immediate Release

Cascading Style Sheets Standard Boasts Unprecedented Interoperability

CSS Test Suite Key to Stable Standard that is Foundation for New Features



http://www.w3.org/ — 7 June 2011 — W3C, the standards body for the suite of technologies that together provide an Open Web Platform for application development, today announced new levels of support for Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), the language for adding style to Web content. W3C released an update to the core CSS standard (2.1) to reflect the current state of support for CSS features, and to serve as the stable foundation for future extensions.

CSS has been in widespread use as an Open Web technology for more than a decade, but it took many years for implementations and the specification to converge. The collective efforts of the CSS Working Group, implementers, contributors to the CSS Test Suite, and the W3C CSS community have made interoperable CSS a reality for the Open Web. More than 9000 CSS tests have made it easier for designers to create style sheets that work across browsers, and across devices.

"This publication provides me with an opportunity to congratulate and thank the CSS Working Group, and all of the developers that have made CSS a success," said Bert Bos, co-inventor of CSS and Editor of CSS 2.1. "This publication crowns a long effort to achieve very broad interoperability. Now we can turn our attention to the cool features we've been itching to bring to the Web."

CSS interoperability plays an important role in the rapid adoption of W3C's Open Web Platform, which also includes HTML5, SVG, WOFF, APIs for geolocation and offline storage, real-time communications, and a host of other technologies for building rich, interactive applications.

A Stable Platform for Innovation

This year we celebrate the 15th anniversary of CSS, the powerful toolkit that makes it easy to create visually engaging pages and applications, to deploy experimental features safely, to maintain style independently of content, and to adapt pages to new devices.

"People have asked us 'Why is CSS 2.1 taking so long?'", said Daniel Glazman, CSS Working Group Co-chair. "CSS 2.1 is a really large collection of formatting features, and we had to not only carefully review and specify all the potential interactions between them, but also learn from existing implementations and of course tests. Time ensured quality and interoperability."

The current interoperability makes it easier than ever for developers and designers to enrich the toolkit. W3C expects future additions to CSS to be organized as independent modules, allowing smaller, more focused feature sets to progress and stabilize at their own pace. Some of these new features are already supported in browsers and other software in draft form (using the built-in CSS prefix mechanism designed for experimentation). As interoperability improves for each one, developers can transition to the standard to simplify their code. The CSS Working Group also publishes snapshots of which CSS features are supported interoperably in browsers; see, for instance, the most recent CSS Snapshot.

"Now that we have published CSS 2.1 as a Recommendation," said Peter Linss, co-chair of the CSS Working Group, "the Working Group can focus its efforts on rapidly advancing CSS with new modules for improved layout controls, new visual effects, broader international support, and more."

New Standards for Colors, Profile for MathML also Published

W3C published two other standards as well that are widely deployed and now build on the stable CSS 2.1 base: CSS Color Module Level 3, and A MathML For CSS Profile.

The Colors module provides new, more convenient ways to specify colors and transparency for text, borders, and backgrounds.

The second illustrates how various pieces of the Open Web Platform work together. "MathML For CSS Profile," in conjunction with MathML, will make it easier for authors to put math expressions on the Web and have them rendered faithfully.

About the World Wide Web Consortium

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international consortium where Member organizations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to develop Web standards. W3C primarily pursues its mission through the creation of Web standards and guidelines designed to ensure long-term growth for the Web. Over 325 organizations are Members of the Consortium. W3C is jointly run by the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (MIT CSAIL) in the USA, the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM) headquartered in France and Keio University in Japan, and has additional Offices worldwide. For more information see http://www.w3.org/

Media Contact

Ian Jacobs, <ij@w3.org>, +1.718.260.9447