W3C CSS 2.1 Spec Gets One Step Closer to Release
The W3C Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) Working Group has released the latest version of the Candidate Recommendation CSS Specification -- CSS 2.1. The newest version corrects some errors in the previous version and adds some features that have been highly requested.

Design Made Easy

Just as a gentle reminder, CSS -- or cascading style sheets -- is a style sheet language. This language enables you to attach styles to structured documents like XML and HTML without having to embed those styles directly in the document themselves.

CSS2.1 builds upon earlier releases and includes the ability to create media specific stylesheets for different devices such as browsers, aural devices, printers, braille devices and handheld devices.

Correcting Errors

CSS 2.1 corrects a few errors in CSS 2.0, the most important being:

  • A new definition of height/width of absolutely positioned elements
  • More Influence for HTML's style attribute
  • New calculation of the "clip" property

You can view a list of all changes to the specification here.

The new features added have already been in wide use according to the documentation, but trying to find out what they were specifically appears to be an effort that requires comparing the two versions side-by-side.

If you want to see a Javascript-based prototype that uses the April 2009 draft of the CSS Template Layout, Alexis Deveria has created one here.

Although we are still at CSS 2.0, there is already a working group for CSS 3.0 that is taking on the tough topic of Web Topography.

Get more information on the latest Candidate Recommendation of CSS 2.1 on the W3C website. This version will be in place until July 23, 2009 and before it becomes a Proposed Recommendation as test suite and implementations report will be completed.