The World Wide Web Consortium Releases CSS1 Test Suite

Author(s) and publish date


Testimonials -- 26 January 1999 -- Following its mission to lead the evolution of the Web, the World Wide Web Consortium today released a test suite for its Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) language. CSS is a widely supported style sheet language that describes how Web documents (e.g., written in HTML or XML) are presented on screen, paper, in speech, etc. The CSS1 Test Suite will help implementors improve CSS1 support in their products and will enable Web page designers to verify the quality of CSS1 support in their browsers. Solid CSS support across a variety of browsers will encourage authors to use style sheets. The benefits of using style sheets include shorter documents, faster downloads, more attractive Web pages, more accessible Web pages, and much easier site management.

As the first Test Suite to accompany a W3C Recommendation, this release is also a milestone for W3C, demonstrating that W3C is not only developing specifications, but also creating tools for developers so as to encourage interoperable implementations of these specifications.

Today's release of the Test Suite covers CSS1, which is the first level of CSS. The Test Suite was crafted by Eric Meyer of Case Western Reserve University, Tim Boland of NIST, Håkon Lie of W3C, and numerous volunteers in the style sheet community. W3C's CSS and FP Working Group members contributed significant vendor experience to the Test Suite so that it would be a helpful and real-world guide for browser developers.

"Because of significant vendor input, we are expecting to see the effects of the test suite in the upcoming generation of browsers. The test suite will result in increased interoperability between CSS implementations," predicted Håkon Lie, W3C Style Sheets Activity Lead.

The test suite consists of nearly 100 pages, each of which documents a section from the CSS specification. Using words and images, the pages describe how the various CSS features should be rendered.

Other CSS support tools produced by W3C include:

  • The CSS Validator, which allows authors to validate the syntax of their style sheets.
  • The W3C Core Styles, a set of attractive sample style sheets freely available on the Web, making it easy for authors to start using style sheets.

Through these tools, as well as the HTML Validator, W3C demonstrates its commitment to supporting the deployment of technologies defined by its Recommendations. As a next step in this direction, work has begun on a test suite for CSS2, the latest level of CSS.


About the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)

The W3C was created to lead the Web to its full potential by developing common protocols that promote its evolution and ensure its interoperability. It is an international industry consortium jointly run by the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science (MIT 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 300 organizations are Members of the Consortium.

For more information about the World Wide Web Consortium, see


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The World Wide Web Consortium Releases CSS1 Test Suite

Bitstream Inc. - Case Western Reserve University - Macromedia - NIST - Verso - Wired Digital


"Completion of the W3C CSS Test Suite provides a vital component for HTML and XML developers. Now developers can produce products and benchmark them to insure compliance to CSS. Knowledgeable consumers also benefit by having an accessible test suite to ensure high quality software compliance to CSS standards."

-- Glen Rippel, Director of Planning, Bitstream Inc.


"With the completion of the CSS1 Test Suite, the W3C is now able to provide a stable point of reference for both vendors and authors. Given the recent surge of interest in, and demand for, standards compliance, this work and the forthcoming CSS2 Test Suite should provide an excellent groundwork for implementors to improve their CSS rendering and thus further the development of the Web. Case Western Reserve University is proud of its role in creating the CSS1 Test Suite, and we feel confident that it will be useful to the Web community as a whole."

-- Eric Meyer, Case Western Reserve University


"Our customers have made it very clear that standardization is one of the most critical issues facing Web authors today. As Macromedia continues to develop standards-based authoring tools, the W3C's test suite helps to ensure that our customers can take full take advantage of new Web technologies like Cascading Style Sheets, and that all implementations of CSS will act the same way."

-- Sho Kuwamoto, Macromedia


"NIST is also happy that it was able to assist in the development of the CSS1 Test Suite,"

-- Tim Boland, NIST


"The CSS1 Test Suite promises to help bring future browser releases to an interoperable standard of conformance with the 1996 and future specifications. It's about accountability, and it's about time!"

-- Todd Fahrner, Verso


"We've come to rely on the power and performance of Cascading Stylesheets in everything from our news service to our search engine. This comprehensive test suite will allow the browser and tool developers to push their CSS support even further - something Web designers are eagerly anticipating."

-- Jeffrey Veen, Wired Digital

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