HTML Style Sheets - a suggestion

Bert Bos (
Thu, 25 Jan 1996 19:36:35 +0100


(I hope you don't mind that I've CC'ed this to the www-style mailing

Gopi Kumar Bulusu writes:
> I am not sure this is part of the HTML 3.0 proposal (I suspect it is),
> but an excellent feature would be the ability to define various style
> parameters of a document in terms of the parent document or a previous
> document of the same type enabling context sensitive documents.
> This can be done both by a document enabling subsequent documents to use
> its style and documents (conditionally) using the style from the parent.
[example omitted]
> In addition to a document "look and feel" the same as the document referring
> to -- it will solve the problem with running out of colors in color tables !
> It can also decrease network bandwidth as only the root-document needs to
> load the styles.

An interesting idea. It's not in any HTML3.0 proposal, nor in the CSS
style sheets.

There may be some problems though. Using the style from the previous
document without knowing what that style is, may mean that the new
document ends up unreadable. On the other hand, if you know what the
previous document is, you could simply link to the same style sheet.

But the idea can be turned around: a document could force any document
linked from it to be displayed with the same style as itself (or with
a specific style sheet that is a slight modification of its own). This
is something that occured to me some time ago, when thinking about the
style for embedded documents. (I wrote a browser once that could embed
documents recursively, using the IMG tag, but each kept its own style


  Bert Bos                                ( W 3 C )                                  INRIA project RODEO/W3C   2004 Rt des Lucioles / BP 93
  +33 93 65 77 71                 06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France