Talk:Style sheet (web development)

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Big edit[edit]

Just added a lot more. I wish I had looked at the VfD page before starting my edit, however, since I went the route of just adding a bunch more information about the use of CSS. If there are other good examples of this, please add them in! -Doozer 05:41, 17 May 2005 (UTC)


The Slower work without the parsing and generation tools heading under Disadvantages does not make much sense to me.

While CSS - based documents can be easily generated and parsed automatically, defining styles separately makes the document more difficult to read and write without the software tools. In some cases (for example, in the source code comments) the HTML code must be easy to write and read, and CSS is less frequently used.

"...makes the document more difficult to read and write without software tools."

What does this mean? I write X/HTML and CSS with a text editor and view the results in a browser. This seems like the bare minimum you need to write web code. I don't rely on any other software tools to "see" what I am producing. This comment is vague and misleading.

I think this whole section should be deleted. --Rossr 21:26, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

I went ahead and removed most of that section. I revised a bit, but I couldn't even discern what the original author had in mind.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Cplot (talkcontribs) 19:33, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

"Traditional" web design[edit]

This differs from the traditional web design methodology, in which a page's markup defines both style and content.

That just doesn't sound right. CSS design is not "non-traditional". It's been around for ten years and it's considered the right way to do it. This should be worded better. Michael Z. 2006-12-14 10:00 Z

This is a good point, I will modify the text to better reflect a more neutral and accurate connotation. dr.ef.tymac 16:14, 14 December 2006 (UTC)


I vote to merge this with style sheet (web development). Unless there's any technology mentioned that is an alternative to tables besides style sheets, its really just an article listing the benefits of style sheets or criticism of HTML tables. Benefits of styles sheets should be part of the style sheet article. Criticism of HTML tables should be part of the HTML table article. Oicumayberight 02:46, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

Neutral: Makes sense content-wise, but what about article size? It seems it may be justifiable as a separate article merely on the basis of how much content there is. Perhaps an article series is more appropriate? dr.ef.tymac 07:05, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
A series is a good idea. Maybe have a template for web design approaches. Whatever the case, all the talk about benefits of style sheets should be saved for the Style sheet (web development) article. The concept of tableless web design should be about more than one alternative to tables, or else it should be renamed "Style sheet web design". Oicumayberight 21:42, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
Support: No one else has chimed in on this, so how about support for merge with possible follow-up expansion into article series later on if necessary. The rationale for the content re-org makes sense to me, but there is one point in response to what you said:
tableless web design should be about more than one alternative to tables, or else it should be renamed "Style sheet web design"
although I agree with the underlying rationale for this, the term "tableless web design" is (if I am not mistaken) a term of art used in some circles of web development. The term is definitely imprecise, but also recognizable as a specific jargonized name for the underlying concept. The term evolved as an historical attribute of the way web browsers evolved (analogous to the term "horseless carriage"). Anyway, the point is the term is admittedly weak, and "style-sheet web design" is a good retronym, but there should be at least a note in the article, so that people who still use the "antiquated" terminology don't miss the point. dr.ef.tymac 02:28, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
Oppose - We do not have an article on using tables for web design. This is the best we have. We could rename the article, with emphasis on using tables and the disadvantages. -- Petri Krohn 21:52, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
I still think it should be part of either the web design or the style sheet (web development) article. However, if there are alternatives to tables besides style sheets, and enough other issues concerning tables in general, then maybe we should just remove the redirect on the title "HTML table" and make it the name of this article. It can still be linked from the HTML element article. Oicumayberight 23:52, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
Oppose - For the moment, the antiquated term is still the clearest and about a different topic than css: the latter is not only a particular way to attain tableless layout control but just as well an aid for table designing. The css article should mention that css can be used for tableless web design without going deeper into that technical aspect and provide a simple lin;, and in case other methods could be used for such purpose, the article tableless web design could mention (and compare) several methods. The absence of another method in the current article does not mean its topic to be css. — SomeHuman 19 Mar2007 19:34 (UTC)
Oppose - People come across the term "tableless design" in all sorts of places; So we need this page. I think, however, that the focus of the page should change from an argument for CSS, to a historical description of the transition from table design to CSS design. Yintercept 07:58, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
Oppose - The reason I am here is because I found the term "tableless design" in several tutorials and needed to know what that means. This article, as it is now, only tells me that I am not one of the cool kids because I am currently using tables. I agree that an article with this title ought simply describe the movement toward other technologies for design purposes, and ought not be a sales pitch for css. Is not a flash site "tableless"? Speaking as the new kid in design class, I think that merging the articles would imply that tableless design and css are synonymous. I gather that, strictly speaking, they are not. Besides, this article will have to be completely rewritten when a new technology comes along that makes css look sophomoric.
Greg Sweet 04:40, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
Oppose - My point of view is that of a web designer. Tableless design is a sub-method of web design, a huge subject, treated in many online articles and offline books. In my opinion, it should be explained separately from the article on CSS. CSS can be and was used with table-based designs. I also completely agree with Greg Sweet's comment.
Anatoly IVANOV 23:26, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

Support moving this material into a more appropriate place, including style sheet (web development) and web design. But really, this requires deeper thought and rewriting. In its current state, it is advocacy, or at best a list of advantages and disadvantages of a method. A more encyclopedic treatment would centre around the history of this design method, referring to the technology that made it possible, and the people involved in advocacy and education.

This is but one issue in the subject of technical web production, and should get equal time with standards-based web authoring (we have web standards), semantic HTML/semantic Web, web accessibility (which is much more than just design for particular disabilities), user-oriented web design, etc. Michael Z. 2007-07-05 05:33 Z

Is "style sheet" two words, or one?[edit]

There are four uses of "style sheet" (as two words) in the body of this entry and nine of "stylesheet" (as one word), with the title appearing as two words. Both uses are found in the first paragraph. We need to standardize on one or the other. I could argue either side of the matter—on the one hand, the common usage is "stylesheet," on the other hand, the W3C says "style sheet"—and I don't really care what's settled on. I'd go the WP:BOLD route and just change one half of the uses, but I don't want to get caught up in a holy war.

Who wants to tackle this? --WaldoJ (talk) 16:18, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done. I went with "style sheet". HairyWombat 03:17, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
Two words. Lie & Bos' book uses "Cascading Style Sheets" as a title, and after all they're CSS, not CS. Andy Dingley (talk) 09:13, 9 May 2012 (UTC)

Introductory Paragraph[edit]

The introductory paragraph seems to focus more on what a style sheet is not rather than describing what it is. This needs a more positive approach, something like 'A web style sheet is a file that defines the visual layout (style) for a web page, separate from the markup (i.e., HTML or XHTML) of the page's semantic content and structure. This design approach is identified as a "separation" because it largely supersedes the antecedent methodology in which a page's markup defined both style and structure.' -- Dave Braunschweig (talk) 20:08, 12 July 2013 (UTC)

Without XSLT, what is this article about?[edit]

First, there is an error in the lede section here. It says that "style is defined in an external style sheet file using a style sheet language such as CSS or XSLT", and it has defines "style" as "visual layout". XSLT does not define the visual layout of HTML, XHTML or XML. Our own article says that XSLT is "for transforming XML documents into other XML documents, or other objects such as HTML [etc]". After processing with an XSLT 'stylesheet', an XHTML webpage will be no more 'styled' for visual display than it was before.

Secondly, XSLT in that sentence is confusingly linked to Extensible Stylesheet Language, which redirects to XSL. If, by this someone may argue that what is meant is not XSLT, but XSL Formatting Objects, then we are talking about something like styling XHTML for display as a PDF, which so does not fit with the rest of the opening statements.

Thirdly, XSLT is not mentioned again in the article, which means that the present mention is completely unsourced and does not comply with WP:LEDE, which says that the lede should summarise the content in the body of the article.

Lastly, I can see something of the difficult genesis that this article, by this name, has had from the 2007 discussions above. I suggest that the merging process is not finished yet. If we remove 'XSLT' from the lede, as I propose, then what we are left with is an article about the benefits of using CSS with HTML. So, what is the difference in purpose between this article and the one at Separation of presentation and content? I therefore further propose that initiate another merge process between Style sheet (web development) and Separation of presentation and content. --Nigelj (talk) 22:57, 12 July 2013 (UTC)

I'd be for merging Style sheet (web development) into Separation of presentation and content, but not the reverse. I'd also be for merging Style sheet (desktop publishing) into same or an article about style sheets in general. Oicumayberight (talk) 22:02, 13 July 2013 (UTC)
It's notable that XSL-FO has been abandoned. XSLT is a transformation language, not a stylesheet standard. And the content seems very CSS-centric, anyways. It's been suggested this article be merged with CSS with tags now showing on both articles. How do we take action or decide to remove the tags with no action taken? -wʃʃʍ- 21:55, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
XSL-FO has hardly been "abandoned", the same purpose and direction has simply gone into CSS3 paged media [1] Andy Dingley (talk) 22:37, 22 October 2014 (UTC)