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Historical Style Sheet proposals

During the history of the Web there have been a number of style sheet proposals, and this page links to most of them. The proposals are roughly in chronological order. They contain ideas that current specifications build upon, and serve as background material.

Several of the above proposals were presented at a W3C workshop on style sheets in Paris Nov 6-7 1995. The notes are available.

Bert Bos, W3C Style Sheets Activity Lead
and Håkon Wium Lie, former W3C Style Sheets Activity Lead

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W3C Workshop on Style Sheets

November 6-7, 1995

Paris, France

Organized by the World Wide Web Consortium and INRIA.

Workshop Profile

For background information on web style sheets, see the style sheet resource page.

Style sheets have the potential of adding style to the web without sacrificing device-independence or document structure. Instead of adding visual tags to HTML, style sheets attach presentational information to the structure of SGML and HTML documents.

The goal of the workshop is to present the current status of style sheets, and to provide a forum for discussing future development and deployment of style sheets on the web. We want to bring together browser implementors, content providers and the people behind current style sheet initiatives. The outcome of the workshop will help W3C focus its effors in this area. In particular, we hope the workshop will produce a list of short term objectives to standarization, and a list of volunteers from member organizations committed to providing a specified amount of their time to help bring these things about on a given timescale.

The workshop will run over two days. On the first day, presenters will describe proposed style sheet mechanisms, demonstrate current software, and outline their views on future deployment. On the second day, smaller discussion groups will identify work, specifications and code needed for style sheet deployment on the web.

Some likely discussion topics:

  • Which content providers are significant for style sheet deployment? Home page writers, newpapers, publishing houses? Web-site designers?
  • What are the requrements for a successful style sheet mechanism on the web?
  • The scope of style sheets mechanisms: should they handle UI aspects (toolbar, menus, window size, etc.), link behaviour (single/double click, drag), forms, etc.?
  • How does the concept of style sheets fit with alternate UI metaphors, .g. outline editors, filtering agents, and virtual realities?
  • Is multiple style sheet formats beneficial or distracting?
  • How to resolve presentation preference conflicts between authors, publishers and readers?
  • Is time on the side of style sheets? If not, how much time do we have?
  • How to classify style sheets in as Internet Media types (MIME types). Can style sheets be a case study for content negotiation?
  • In HTML, how should styles be linked and embedded? STYLE element? STYLE attributes?
  • How can non-visual media be supported through style sheets.
  • How do the formatting models of the different proposals match? Is code-sharing possible?
  • How can we improve the robustness of style sheet implementations .r.t. environment resources? .g., should the output device provide alternate fonts and colors? Can lessons be learned from current DTP? Can one determine when a style rule is successful?
  • What support software is determinant for the success of style sheets? HTML browsers, SGML browsers, style sheet editors, DTP conversion tools, link management tools, off-line rendering software for high-quality printing, conversion tools between various style sheet formats?
  • Software: what should W3C make available, what can others contribute?
  • What needs to be done on a short time scale and who will do it?

Preliminary Agenda

Chair/facilitator: Steven Pemberton (CWI)

Monday 6 November:

We also invite presentations from W3C member companies. Please contact Håkon Lie (howcome@w3.org) if you want to present.

  • 09:00 Opening statement: Jean-Francois Abramatic (W3C/INRIA)
  • 09:10 Introduction Steven Pemberton (CWI)
  • 09:40 David Siegel "What do Web-site Designers Really Want?"
  • 10:15 Daniel Connolly (W3C/MIT) "Style Sheets as a Tool for Information Management"
  • 10:45 Coffee break
  • 11:00 James Clark "DSSSL and DSSSL Lite on the Web"
  • 11:45 Håkon Lie (W3C/INRIA) "Cascading Style Sheets"
  • 12:15 Cecile Roisin (INRIA, OPERA) "P: a Style Sheet Language for Structured Documents"
  • 12:45 Lunch
  • 13:45 Kevin Hughes (EIT) "Why I don't use HTML extensions"
  • 14:30 Dave Raggett (W3C/MIT/HP) "Style Sheet support for tables"
  • 15:00 Break
  • 15:15 William Perry (Spry) "Implementing Style Sheets in emacs-w3"
  • 15:45 George Williams (Navisoft) "Style Sheets in the NaviPress Browser/Editor"
  • 16:15 Break
  • 16:30 Glenn Adams (Stonehand/Unicode), "Style Sheets and International Text"
  • 17:00 Bert Bos (W3C/INRIA) "CSS level 2"
  • 17:30 Louis Weitzman (MIT Media Lab), "Beyond Style: Adaptive graphic articulation within HTML"
  • 18:00 End of presentations
There will be an informal workshop dinner Monday night.

Tuesday 7 November

  • 09:00 Brainstorming session. Goal: identifying topics for working sessions. Chair: Steven Pemberton
  • 10:00 Break
  • 10:30 Working session
  • 12:00 Lunch
  • 13:00 Report from working sessions
  • 15:00 Break
  • 15:30 Call to action: commitments for follow-up activities
  • 16:30-> Optional informal gatherings

Organizational information

Workshop chair: Steven Pemberton (CWI)
Program coordinator: Håkon Lie
Administrative coordinator: Josiane Roberts (Josiane.Roberts@inria.fr)

The workshop will take place at INRIA/Rocquencourt, close to Versailles outside Paris.

Unless otherwise arranged, workshop participants must book and pay their own travel and accomodation. Lunch, coffee and an informal dinner on Monday night will be covered by W3C.



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