4.2.7 Styling

The link and style elements can provide styling information for the user agent to use when rendering the document. The CSS and CSSOM specifications specify what styling information is to be used by the user agent and how it is to be used. [CSS] [CSSOM]

The style and link elements implement the LinkStyle interface. [CSSOM]

For style elements, if the user agent does not support the specified styling language, then the sheet attribute of the element's LinkStyle interface must return null. Similarly, link elements that do not represent external resource links that contribute to the styling processing model (i.e. that do not have a stylesheet keyword in their rel attribute), or for which the link is an alternative stylesheet but whose title content attribute is absent or empty, must have their LinkStyle interface's sheet attribute return null.

Otherwise, the LinkStyle interface's sheet attribute must return a StyleSheet object with the following properties: [CSSOM]

The style sheet type

The style sheet type must be the same as the style's specified type. For style elements, this is the same as the type content attribute's value, or text/css if that is omitted. For link elements, this is the Content-Type metadata of the specified resource.

The style sheet location

For link elements, the location must be the result of resolving the URL given by the element's href content attribute, relative to the element, or the empty string if that fails. For style elements, there is no location.

The style sheet media

The media must be the same as the value of the element's media content attribute, or the empty string, if the attribute is omitted.

The style sheet title

The title must be the same as the value of the element's title content attribute, if the attribute is present and has a non-empty value. If the attribute is absent or its value is the empty string, then the style sheet does not have a title (it is the empty string). The title is used for defining alternative style sheet sets.

The style sheet alternate flag

For link elements, true if the link is an alternative stylesheet. In all other cases, false.

The same object must be returned each time.

The disabled IDL attribute on link and style elements must return false and do nothing on setting, if the sheet attribute of their LinkStyle interface is null. Otherwise, it must return the value of the StyleSheet interface's disabled attribute on getting, and forward the new value to that same attribute on setting.

The rules for handling alternative style sheets are defined in the CSS object model specification. [CSSOM]

Style sheets, whether added by a link element, a style element, an <?xml-stylesheet> PI, an HTTP Link: header, or some other mechanism, have a style sheet ready flag, which is initially unset.

When a style sheet is ready to be applied, its style sheet ready flag must be set. If the style sheet referenced no other resources (e.g. it was an internal style sheet given by a style element with no @import rules), then the style rules must be synchronously made available to script; otherwise, the style rules must only be made available to script once the event loop reaches its "update the rendering" step.

A style sheet in the context of the Document of an HTML parser or XML parser is said to be a style sheet that is blocking scripts if the element was created by that Document's parser, and the element is either a style element or a link element that was an external resource link that contributes to the styling processing model when the element was created by the parser, and the element's style sheet was enabled when the element was created by the parser, and the element's style sheet ready flag is not yet set, and, the last time the event loop reached step 1, the element was in that Document, and the user agent hasn't given up on that particular style sheet yet. A user agent may give up on a style sheet at any time.

Giving up on a style sheet before the style sheet loads, if the style sheet eventually does still load, means that the script might end up operating with incorrect information. For example, if a style sheet sets the color of an element to green, but a script that inspects the resulting style is executed before the sheet is loaded, the script will find that the element is black (or whatever the default color is), and might thus make poor choices (e.g. deciding to use black as the color elsewhere on the page, instead of green). Implementors have to balance the likelihood of a script using incorrect information with the performance impact of doing nothing while waiting for a slow network request to finish.

A Document has a style sheet that is blocking scripts if there is either a style sheet that is blocking scripts in the context of that Document, or if that Document is in a browsing context that has a parent browsing context, and the active document of that parent browsing context itself has a style sheet that is blocking scripts.

A Document has no style sheet that is blocking scripts if it does not have a style sheet that is blocking scripts as defined in the previous paragraph.