Ways of styling pages when HTML was announced


The Languages Which Almost Became CSS


When Tim Berners-Lee announced HTML in 1991 there was no method of styling pages.  So there were many proposals about rendering pages at that time.

There were the following kind:


@BODY fo(fa=he,si=18)

As you can see,  it is very concise!

fa=family si=font size

It made sense to make the content of this new format as terse as was possible as it was born in the era before gzipping and when connection speeds hovered around 14.4k.

BUT, RRP did not support any of the ‘cascading’ ,  it is too concise. What is 18 points? It′s not very friendly on the big screen.


pwp  It supports a form of the nested structure.

(BODY fontSize=normal
  (H1   fontSize=largest

BUT, (The original doesn't explain why it disappeared) .  But it′s similar to the CSS now!

SGML——Stylesheets Before the Web


It's obviously a bit complicated!

      <font size="12pt" bckcol="white" fontcol="black">
  <e-i-c gi="h1"><font size="24pt" bckcol="red", fontcol="white"></e-i-c>
  <e-i-c gi="h2"><font size="20pt" bckcol="red", fgcol="white"></e-i-c>
  <e-i-c gi="a"><font fgcol="red"></e-i-c>
  <e-i-c gi="cmd kbd screen listing example"><font style="monoser"></e-i-c>


It also was a programming language and you could even define functions.

(define (create-heading heading-font-size)
  (make paragraph
    font-size: heading-font-size
    font-weight: 'bold))

(element h1 (create-heading 24pt))
(element h2 (create-heading 18pt))

BUT, it has too many parenthesis.   It is rather that it included over 210 separate styleable properties.

What stylesheet do we want?

We want to be able to render the beginning of the HTML to the page before the HTML which will form the bottom of the page has been fully downloaded.

Compared to many of the other proposals, one notable fact of CSS is its simplicity. It can be easily parsed, easily written, and easily read.

body ol li

It appoints the object explicitly!

And then JavaScript was developed as a new language.   Just like DSSSL , it can even define functions and more powerful !


  • It is said that it is itself a reminder of how incidental much of this innovation can be.
  • Our design should be geared to a wide range of people!