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Subject: Newsgroup FAQ v2.00 - Welcome to comp.infosystems.www.authoring.stylesheets.
This article was archived around: Mon, 09 May 2005 23:32:35 +0200
Posting-Frequency: once a week
Maintainer: Jan Roland Eriksson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
comp.infosystems.www.authoring.stylesheets meta-FAQ v2.00
00: ===== T O C =====
01: What is <comp.infosystems.www.authoring.stylesheets>?
02: What kinds of posts are acceptable in this newsgroup?
03: What kinds of posts may be acceptable in this newsgroup?
04: What kinds of posts are not acceptable in this newsgroup?
05: Where are the technical resources for this newsgroup?
06: How do I get best possible response to my articles?
07: What is the atmosphere of 'ciwas'?
08: Where can I find the latest version of this FAQ?
09: ===== E N D =====
01: ===== Q & A =====
Q: What is <comp.infosystems.www.authoring.stylesheets>?
A: This is an unmoderated newsgroup which passed for creation by
votes of 166:19 as reported in <news.announce.newgroups> on
The charter of this newsgroup, taken from the vote result
"This unmoderated newsgroup is intended for the discussion of Web
style sheets. Style sheets can make an author's life much easier.
With style sheets, one only needs to specify presentational pre-
ferences once, and the style can be applied to an entire site.
Not only that, but style sheets also reduce download time when one
file contains all the style information."
02: ===== Q & A =====
Q: What kinds of posts are acceptable in this newsgroup?
A: This newsgroup is a forum for discussion of style sheet technology
and usage that is applicable to the WWW.
Examples of valid topics for this newsgroup include:
* How to achieve a particular effect with style sheets.
* The relative advantages of different style sheet languages.
* Specifications versus implementations.
* Bugs and limitations in implementations.
03: ===== Q & A =====
Q: What kinds of posts may be acceptable in this newsgroup?
A: Articles on related WWW subjects (e.g. (X)HTML mark-up, scripting
languages, etc.) that may be required for a full discussion of a
specific style sheet problem.
In general terms:
* articles on (X)HTML mark-up should be posted to
* articles on XML mark-up should be posted to <comp.text.xml>
* articles on DSSSL may be posted to <comp.text.sgml> but the most
correct forum might be the DSSSL mailing list at
<DSSSList@lists.mulberrytech.com> which has a main WWW entry at
* articles on the Java programming language should be posted to a
suitable NG in the <comp.lang.java.*> hierarchy.
* articles on other types of client side, or server side, scripting
and/or programming languages should be posted to the newsgroup
or mailing list most appropriate to the particular language.
A search at <http://www.google.com> may be of help to find the
correct forum for articles that are directly off-topic for
04: ===== Q & A =====
Q: What kind of posts are not acceptable in this newsgroup?
A: Some examples of inappropriate posts include:
* Chain letters, including "Make Money Fast" articles.
* Known hoaxes (like the "Good Times Virus").
* Announcements of non-relevant Web pages and services.
* Personal introductions or requests for e-mail.
* Off topic articles, questions or responses.
* Test articles.
* Articles cross-posted to several newsgroups where the article
is off-topic for one or more of the newsgroups in the cross-
* Articles posted as separate copies to many groups.
* Articles with significantly more quoted than new content.
* Articles offering items for sale and commercial advertisements.
* Articles which aren't primarily text in a standard alphabet
(e.g. binaries, pictures, Rot13, etc).
The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) gives advice on how to
post to usenet in 'RFC1855' <http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc1855.txt>.
Follow those recommendations whenever you post to usenet and your
articles should be well received not only in 'ciwas' but also in
any other newsgroup you may want to visit.
05: ===== Q & A =====
Q: Where are the technical resources for this newsgroup?
A: Available information on the subject of style sheets is too exten-
sive to be directly written into a posted document like this meta-
FAQ. It is suggested that you research your technical questions on
the use of style sheets in one or more of the following places on
* Style sheet information from the World Wide Web Consortium
(also known as the W3C) starts at <http://www.w3.org/Style/CSS/>
and continues at <http://www.w3.org/Style/XSL/>
- The official recommendation for Cascading Style Sheets level 1
(aka CSS1) <http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS1>
- The official recommendation for Cascading Style Sheets level 2
(aka CSS2) <http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS2/>
- The official errata document for Cascading Style Sheets level 2
(which is no longer maintained, in favor of the current ongoing
work on the CSS2.1 specification)
- The official Candidate recommendation for Cascading Style
Sheets level 2.1 (which is currently a "work in progress"
- The official recommendation for XSL Transformations (XSLT)
Version 1.0 <http://www.w3.org/TR/xslt>
- The official recommendation for XML Path Language (XPath)
Version 1.0 <http://www.w3.org/TR/xpath>
- The official recommendation for Extensible Stylesheet Language
(XSL/XSL-FO) Version 1.0 <http://www.w3.org/TR/xsl/>
* Information on other style sheet capable languages, document
transformation methods and specifications.
- Document Style Semantics and Specification Language (DSSSL)
- Formatting Output Specification Instance (FOSI)
- Interactive Electronic Technical Manuals (IETM)
- International Committee for Accessible Document Design (ICADD)
It should be noted that the HTML2 DTD was designed to be ICADD
* Syntax checkers for CSS are available online from here
<http://www.htmlhelp.org/tools/csscheck/> (CSS1 primarily)
* True HTML syntax validators are available online from here
* A commercial Windows front for James Clark's 'nsgmls' SGML
parser/validator is available from here
* In need of a good, all purpose (X)HTML - CSS, editor for the WIN
environment? Go to <http://www.notetab.com/>. It's available in a
full sized commercial version as well as a slightly scaled down
free version, but its real value lies in the vast amount of free
add-in "clips" available for it. True DTD based validation of
your markup is just one of the modules that you do not have to
pay extra to have at your fingertips.
* W3C has a CSS test suite available, the work to design that test
suite was originally done by Eric A. Meyer but today it's main-
tained by Bert Bos.
* Eric Meyer's "Complex Spiral Demo" became a "classic example" at
the same time it was published. Eric shows the full capacity of
CSS1 (combined with a few, very basic, pick up's from CSS2)
* Todd Fahrner once designed a set of core stylesheets that was
placed on the W3C server system. Todd has found other (maybe
more valuable) interests in life as compared to participating
in discussions in 'ciwas' but his original excellent work is
still available, now maintained by Bert Bos.
* The Web Design Group has a CSS reference here
* The authoring FAQ for this newsgroup is at
* The HTML Writers Guild CSS FAQ, originally produced by Eva von
Pepel a few years back. Still claimed to be maintained by Eva
but has not been updated for quite some time
* To save some time on Google evaluations we have here a list of
CSS educational sites as taken from the two first result pages
from Google on the simple search key 'CSS'. Most of these sites
gets recommended every now and then by regulars here in 'ciwas'.
06: ===== Q & A =====
Q: How do I get best possible response to my articles?
A: First, please search this newsgroup for recent discussion of your
issue(s) [a]. Those of you who have already built some level of
confidence in the use of CSS may also want to reconfirm with avail-
able CSS specifications that the problem seen really is a "problem"
in the first place and not an expected effect of your CSS.
Next, make sure your (X)HTML markup is valid and that your CSS is
correctly formed; see Q&A #5 for links to CSS specs, (X)HTML vali-
dators and CSS checkup resources.
If the problem remains, get your code pared down to a bare minimum,
which still shows the problem, and upload it to a www server.
When posting, indicate what browser(s)/version(s) you are using to
view your example, also indicate what you feel is wrong, and what
you'd like to have happen instead, and include the URL to the test
case you've just prepared.
This process often reveals the problem before you even have to ask,
and it saves time and effort for the helpful regulars who really do
want to assist you.
is an effective tool to search previous discussions in ciwas.
07: ===== Q & A =====
Q: What is the atmosphere of 'ciwas'?
A: Well, "strict" may be a short definition. If you're new to Usenet,
you might not yet be familiar with the accepted conventions of the
major usenet groups.
These conventions have developed over many years, and it's hard to
find them neatly described in a single place, but if you're atten-
tive to the way in which regular usenauts interact, you'll probably
develop a feeling for why things are done the way that they are -
and why some kinds of behaviour are considered seriously rude.
Naturally you will find 'OT' discussions here just as well as you
can find them in other NG's. Still, over the years since the crea-
tion of 'ciwas', basically three items have come to be essential
for anyone who wants to place a commentary article in 'ciwas'.
a) Include quoted material but trim it to the essentials. When quo-
ting, make sure that it's clear who said what! Many participants
consider it rude to snip out their attributions.
b) Make your comment in a natural conversation order, below each
section of the material you have decided to quote and comment.
Do not "top-post", e.g. in the style that a faulty configured
("out of the box") MS-Outlook(Express) invites you to do.
c) You should normally post an article to one newsgroup only.
If, and only if, the topic of your article covers more than one
newsgroup, you should cross-post your article.
Do not post separate articles with the same message to different
Don't be upset if a seemingly simple article/comment/question
triggers a long thread of posts on other issues related to your
input. After all usenet is a forum for discussions at first, not a
"help desk". All eventual help that can be had from a discussion
shall be looked upon as a "fringe benefit".
If you want to find out more on how to make usenet "work for you",
Jukka Korpela has a good compilation of practical "how to's" here
One ciwas usenaut has agreed to let his views of the 'ciwas' NG be
referenced from this mFAQ at <http://www.css.nu/faq/ciwas-NG.html>
08: ===== Q & A =====
Q: Where can I find the latest version of this FAQ?
A: This FAQ was last updated 2004-07-26 copyright 1998 ... 2004
- Jan Roland Eriksson -
Permission to freely reproduce this document electronically is
given as long as the document remains uncut and unedited.
This FAQ is posted periodically to the NG once a week and I'll
endeavor to use the same subject line at all times so that those
of you who have seen it can kill-file the subject.
FAQ version number in subject line will be changed whenever the
document has been revised. You should be able to use that fact
when setting your kill filter to make sure that you have the
latest version available at all times.
This meta-FAQ is also available in HTML on the World Wide Web at
<http://css.nu/faq/ciwas-mFAQ.html> and as a text document at
<http://css.nu/faq/ciwas-mFAQ.txt> with the revision history of
this meta-FAQ at <http://css.nu/faq/ciwas-mFAQ-rev.html>
Further; since this meta-FAQ is approved to be posted to the
'news.answers' and 'comp.answers' moderated NG's it will also be
available from the traditional usenet FAQ repository at
The CSSPG wants to thank regular participants in 'ciwas' for their
contributed input to this mFAQ and for their peer review of the
09: ===== E N D =====