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13.0 Basic Definitions and History

When reading the following list of W3C specs and documents, note that Recommendations represent consensus within W3C and has the Director's stamp of approval. W3C considers that the ideas or technology specified by a Recommendation are appropriate for widespread deployment and promote W3C's mission.

This is very "dry" reading, it is presented for reference purposes, and a basis for the tutorial.

We present the specifications below in chronological order:

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS1) Level 1 Specification -

Original: 17 December 1996, Revised: 11 January 1999, Håkon W. Lie, Bert Bos

This specification is a revision of the Cascading Style Sheets, level 1 Recommendation published on 17 December 1996 - .

CSS1 is a simple style sheet mechanism that allows authors and readers to attach style (e.g. fonts, colors and spacing) to HTML documents. The CSS1 language is human readable and writeable, and expresses style in common desktop publishing terminology.

One of the fundamental features of CSS is that style sheets cascade; authors can attach a preferred style sheet, while the reader may have a personal style sheet to adjust for human or technological handicaps.

Cascading Style Sheets, level 2 (CSS2) Specification -

12 May 1998, Bert Bos, Håkon Wium Lie, Chris Lilley, Ian Jacobs

CSS2 builds on CSS1 and, with very few exceptions, all valid CSS1 style sheets are valid CSS2 style sheets. CSS2 supports media-specific style sheets so that authors may tailor the presentation of their documents to visual browsers, aural devices, printers, braille devices, handheld devices, etc. This specification also supports content positioning, downloadable fonts, table layout, features for internationalization, automatic counters and numbering, and some properties related to user interface.

HTML 4.01 Specification -

24 December 1999, Dave Raggett, Arnaud Le Hors, Ian Jacobs

This specification is the latest version of HTML 4. It supersedes the HTML 4.0 Recommendation first published as HTML 4.0 on 18 December 1997 - and revised as HTML 4.0 on 24 April 1998 -, since it includes fixes for minor errors in the basic implementation.

XHTML(tm) 1.0: The Extensible HyperText Markup Language--A Reformulation of HTML 4 in XML 1.0 -

26 January 2000, Steven Pemberton et al.

XHTML 1.0 was the W3C's first recommendation for XHTML, which is a reformulation of HTML 4.01 in XML (Extensible Markup Language). It combines the flexibility and strength of HTML 4.01 with the power of XML. It is the first implementation that is geared to producing Web pages that will render on such browser platforms as cell phones, televisions, cars, wallet sized wireless communicators, kiosks, desktops, etc. -- in addition to the familiar graphical & textual Browsers, screen readers, and other types of assistive technologies.

XHTML(tm) Basic -

19 December 2000, Mark Baker, Masayasu Ishikawa, Shinichi Matsui, Peter Stark, Ted Wugofski, Toshihiko Yamakami


is the second W3C XHTML implementation that is designed for browsers specifically designed for mobile phones, PDAs, pagers, and set top boxes, (i.e. Web TV)-- and where the full XHTML 1.0 implementation is not required.

Also note the following versions of XHTML 1.0 that have been defined.

XHTML 1.0 Strict

--requires absolutely clean structural markup, free of any tags associated with layout or deprecated tags. It should be used in conjunction with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to produce desired fonts, color, image placement and other layout parameters.

XHTML 1.0 Transitional

--The most useful flavor for general use in that the power and flexibility of XHTML 1.0 can be combined with existing Valid HTML 4.01 code.

XHTML 1.0 Frameset

--Provides for using HTML Frame constructs to partition the browser window into two or more frames. (Not recommended, please get away from using frames- frames have many accessibility issues).

XHTML(tm) 1.1 - Module-based XHTML -

31 May 2001, Murray Altheim, Shane McCarron

XHTML 1.1 - Module-based XHTML is the latest XHTML implementation that is a reformulation of XHTML 1.0 Strict standard using XHTML Modules. It utilizes transportable author defined modules including DOCTYPE/DTD constructs.

The W3C has also provided design requirements for XHTML.

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