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|Contact Europe --
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SOPHIA-ANTIPOLIS, FRANCE -- 4 November, 1997 -- The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) today announced the first public working draft of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) 2, which adds style to content to produce Web pages. "The release of CSS2 highlights the collaborative process within W3C Working Groups," said Chris Lilley, Chair of the W3C Cascading Style Sheets and Formatting Properties (CSS&FP) Working Group. "By working together to design, refine, and document a new level of style sheet support for the Web, W3C Members show the practical benefits to be gained from having an agreed common foundation on which to differentiate their products in the marketplace." The W3C CSS&FP Working Group includes key industry players such as Adobe, Bitstream, CWI, Electricité de France, Grif S.A., Hewlett-Packard, IBM, JavaSoft, Microsoft, Netscape, Novell, and SoftQuad.
"CSS2 will allow designers to create richer, more dynamic content for the Web," said Håkon Lie, lead architect of W3C's CSS Activity. "At the same time, pages using CSS will transfer faster to users and are easier to maintain."
CSS gives content creators, designers and readers the power tools they need to realize the full potential of the their HTML and XML documents. CSS2 adds enhancements in several areas to make the Web more appealing for both content providers and users:
The CSS2 Working Draft is based upon CSS1, a W3C Recommendation issued in December 1996. The Recommendation signifies that the CSS1 specification is stable, contributes to Web interoperability, supported for industry-wide adoption by all W3C Member organizations, and provides a solid foundation for CSS2. Key software vendors, including Adobe, Grif, Macromedia, mBED, Microsoft, Netscape, and SoftQuad have CSS1-compliant products; providing the powerful, sophisticated solutions Web designers have been longing for.
CSS2 is designed to compliment HTML4.0 and XML, and is prerequisite for the Document Object Model (DOM), W3C's platform- and language-neutral interface which allows programs and scripts to dynamically access and update the content, structure and style of documents. "CSS2, in combination with HTML and XML, fulfills the old dream of separating content from its presentation. This is a big boost for accessibility, maintainability and performance on the Web," said Bert Bos, CSS co-architect at W3C .
The separation of style and content allows a single style sheet to define the style for an entire website, thus eliminating the typically repeated duplication of unnecessary presentational information. The result is shorter documents, which in turn, load faster. A recent W3C study showed that when used in tandem, W3C innovations in CSS along with Portable Network Graphics (PNG) and HTTP/1.1, can dramatically reduce page download times and ease the load on the global Internet.
In continuing the W3C goal of ensuring a truly World Wide Web, the members of the W3C CSS&FP Working Group incorporated the expertise of leading experts on internationalization and fonts. To accommodate internationalization, CSS2 fully supports the international ISO 10646 character set, allowing authors to manage differences in language, text direction, and character encoding schemes. CSS can display left-to-right, right-to-left or mixed text, enabling document authors to apply specialized formatting to portions of documents depending on the language they are written in. In addition, CSS2, when coupled with internationalization features, improves the searchability of content.
The CSS2 specification has been produced as part of the W3C Style Sheets Activity. After a period of public and Member review, W3C expects CSS2 to be endorsed as a new W3C Recommendation.
Please see attached testimonials document for additional information on CSS2. Further information on CSS is available at http://www.w3.org/Style/
The W3C was created to develop common protocols that enhance the interoperability and promote the evolution of the World Wide Web. It is an industry consortium jointly run by the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science (LCS) in the USA, the National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control (INRIA) in France and Keio University in Japan. Services provided by the Consortium include: a repository of information about the World Wide Web for developers and users; reference code implementations to embody and promote standards; and various prototype and sample applications to demonstrate use of new technology. To date, over 220 organizations are Members of the Consortium.
For more information about the World Wide Web Consortium, see http://www.w3.org/
Now in its third decade, MIT LCS is dedicated to the invention, development and understanding of information technologies expected to drive substantial technical and socio-economic change. The LCS has helped information technology grow from a mere curiosity to 10 percent of the industrial world's economies by its pioneering efforts in interactive computing, computer networking, distributed systems and public key cryptography. LCS members and alumni have started some thirty companies and have pioneered the Nubus, the X-Window System, the RSA algorithm, the Ethernet and spreadsheets.
For more information about the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science, see http://www.lcs.mit.edu/
INRIA, the French National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control, is a public-sector scientific institute charged with conducting both fundamental and applied research, and with transferring research results to industry. INRIA is made up of five Research Units located at Rocquencourt (near Paris), Rennes, Sophia Antipolis, Nancy and Grenoble. Areas of current research include information processing, advanced high speed networking, structured documents, and scientific computation.
For more information about INRIA, see http://www.inria.fr/
Keio University is one of Japan's foremost computer science research centers and universities. It is one of the oldest private universities in Japan, and has five major campuses around Tokyo. Keio University has been promoting joint research projects in cooperation with industry, government and international organizations, and is now becoming one of the research leaders for the network and digital media technology.
For more information on Keio University, see http://www.keio.ac.jp/