(This page uses CSS style sheets)
"Hopefully, future Web innovations will emulate the example set by the Web Consortium in its work on CSS"-- Jakob Nielsen
Style sheets describe how documents are presented on screens, in print, or perhaps how they are pronounced. W3C has actively promoted the use of style sheets on the Web since the Consortium was founded in 1994. The Style Sheets Activity has produced two W3C Recommendations (CSS1 and CSS2) which are widely, although not consistently, implemented in browsers.
By attaching style sheets to structured documents on the Web (e.g. HTML), authors and readers can influence the presentation of documents without sacrificing device-independence or adding new HTML tags.
The easiest way to start experimenting with style sheets is to find a browser that supports CSS. Discussions about style sheets are carried out on the firstname.lastname@example.org mailing list and on comp.infosystems.www.authoring.stylesheets.
The W3C Style Sheets Activity is also developing XSL.
Wondering which one to choose? Read "CSS & XSL"
The fact that W3C has started developing XSL in addition to CSS has caused some confusion. Why develop a second style sheet language when implementors haven't even finished the first one? The answer can be found in the table below:
|Can be used with HTML?||yes||no|
|Can be used with XML?||yes||yes|
The unique features are that CSS can be used to style HTML documents. XSL, on the other hand, is able to transform documents. For example, XSL can be used to transform XML data into HTML/CSS documents on the Web server. This way, the two languages complement each other and can be used together.
Both languages can be used to style XML documents.
CSS and XSL will use the same underlying formatting model and designers will therefore have access to the same formatting features in both languages. W3C will work hard to ensure that interoperable implementations of the formatting model is available.
A W3C Note on "Using XSL and CSS together" is available.
If you are new to the subject, you may want to start by reading some press clippings on style sheets:
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a style sheet mechanism that has been specifically developed to meet the needs of Web designers and users.
DSSSL is a document tree transformation and style language in with many adherents in the SGML community. DSSSL resources on the Web:
A random selection: