Do you know what CSS stands for? Possibly, but if you don’t it stands for ‘cascading style sheets’. What are these things? Well, they are a set of rules, almost like program code which you can use to style web sites – things like making characters bigger or changing the colour behind some area of text, right up to an including building entire web pages, thus avoiding the dreaded ‘tables’. Don’t worry, anyone who knows a wee bit about the non-wooden variety of tables to which I am referring, but these tables are a bit like the tables you can build in Word and suchlike, only these are used for dividing web pages into a series of boxes into which you can pop images, text and other things.
Unfortunately my intermittent bouts of web design have not really allowed me to get a hang of CSS for much other than fairly basic stuff, even though I have two very good books on the subject. I also have a rather neat style-sheet editing program which I invested in some time back. It’s called, appropriately enough ‘Style Master‘. I’ve only just started to see its real potential, and it does help simplify the task of creating style sheets and keeping track of all the little, and often interrelated, rules which you need to set up, or in my case, edit. I would recommend Style Master to anyone who wants to learn CSS and their support is excellent.
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I have tried building entire pages with CSS, but have always had problems getting them to work in different browsers. The problem seems to be that you need to use a number of so-called hacks to keep all of the browsers happyish most of the time. Not being a full time web designer I just don’t have the time to get and keep myself familiar with all these hacks and modifications. This is a shame because this technology, as it is known, is very powerful, and as any real web designer worth his salt will tell you, is the way web content is going to be shown to us all in the future.
I can see the day when web design will become modular but very flexible and browser compatibility problems will have become a relic from the dim and distant past. Shame I don’t live in the hazy and obscure future really.