Definition: Cascading Style Sheets • Style sheet language:a computer language that expresses the presentation of structured documents. • Cascading Style Sheets:a style sheet language used to describe the look and formatting of a document written in a mark-up language like HTML.
Purpose Behind • Designed primarily to enable the separation of document content from document presentation. • This can improve content accessibility, provide more flexibility and control in the specification of presentation characteristics, enable multiple pages to share formatting, and reduce complexity and repetition in the structural content. • CSS can also allow the same mark-up page to be presented in different styles for different rendering methods, such as on-screen, in print, by voice and on Braille-based, tactile devices. • readers can use a different style sheet to override the one the author has specified.
In other words • A Cascading Style Sheet is a single page which contains the formatting of a document. Documents linked to this sheet all apply the same format • This makes it easy to change the format of the presented document to fit an individuals requirements. • It also means that the user can change the format without having the privilege to change content.
Benefits • Style sheets allow you to separate the style and layout of your HTML files from their informational content. • Using relative measurements content can be reasonably displayed on any monitor. • You have finer and more predictable control over presentation. CSS has been designed to deal with issues which HTML was not. • People with disabilities have better access to your pages. Visually impaired Web users may need increased font sizes and will be among the first to benefit from style sheets.
Disadvantages • Collapsing Margins – Margin collapsing is, while well-documented and useful, also complicated and is frequently not expected by authors, and no simple side-effect-free way is available to control it. • columns subject to a constraint on the sum of all columns. • Lack of Variables – CSS contains no variables. This makes it necessary to do a “replace-all” when one desires to change a fundamental constant, such as the colour scheme or various heights and widths. • Inconsistent Browser Support – Different browsers will render CSS layout differently as a result of browser bugs or lack of support for CSS features. Numerous so-called CSS “hacks” must be implemented to achieve consistent layout among the most popular or commonly used browsers. Pixel precise layouts can sometimes be impossible to achieve across browsers. • Vertical Control Limitation – While horizontal placement of elements is generally easy to control, vertical placement is frequently unintuitive, convoluted, or impossible. Simple tasks, such as centring an element vertically or getting a footer to be placed no higher than bottom of viewport, either require complicated and unintuitive style rules, or simple but widely unsupported rules. • Control of Element Shapes – CSS currently only offers rectangular shapes. Rounded corners or other shapes may require non-semantic mark-up. • Poor Layout Controls for Flexible Layouts – While new additions to CSS3 provide a stronger, more robust layout feature-set, CSS is still very much rooted as a styling language, not a layout language. • Lack of Column Declaration – While possible in current CSS, layouts with multiple columns can be complex to implement. • No of Multiple Backgrounds per Element – Highly graphical designs require several background images for every element, and CSS can support only one.
Flash: Other Option • Better design quality • Easier to make quality designs with • Does not support any where near as many systems: only works with specific programs • Much large files • More on design then content • Allows for easy application of multiple media
Relating to the Case Study • Limited IT Skills : Would suggest flash as html and other mark up languages require reasonable knowledge • Limited Time: CSS would mean modifications could be done a lot quicker with less effort • Internet Usage: CSS decrease the amount of internet usage its suggested her internet is limited • Art and Image company: CSS does not lend itself to beautiful web design ; this company may rely on impressing its customers straight off. • Cascading Styles Sheets are free to implement.
Content Management System • Define: Acontent management system (CMS) is the collection of procedures used to manage work flow in a collaborative environment.
Purpose • Allow multiple users to add to and work on a single collection of stored data • Control access privileges of users • Improve Storage and retrieval • Reduce duplication of inputs • Improve report writing ease • Improve communications between users • Can remove need to work through HTML and other mark-up language; it apply the ‘what you see is what you get’ concept (WYSIWYG) which allows ones to modify the page as they see it.
In other words • They are designed to simply the production and publication of web site content. • Allow for business to make moderate changes to their website without technical assistance. • Allows for multiple people to manipulate content • Allows for tools which manipulate web page data such as forums, shopping carts, images and multimedia galleries. • Can allow users to create news pages and add elements like star ratings very simply.
Open Source Vs Closed • In relation to CSS and this case study it seems logical that open source is referring to free software rather then open access to the source code.
Pros and Cons • Open Source means that the CSS is free • It also means that the owner may use more then one IT group as the source code is not locked • This means that the business does not have to invest large sums into the concept. • The disadvantage is that the software may be low quality and buggy • It also may be difficult to find support as open source software will mean its designers are making limited to no profit from the software. • Close source however will mean that the system is reasonably stable and secure • There is increase chance of regular patching and support. • However, each CSS is different and provides different features. Close Source may not provide trails and as such there is a risk of purchasing something which does not meet the users requirments.
Other Options • The other option is to use HTML and other mark up language to work with the web site. • The advantage is that one can do a lot more with this and there is no need to install or set up a program. • The disadvantage is that business owners generally don’t have to IT knowledge to use this. • This means every time a company wants to make a modification they have to call in a specialist which takes time and money.
Relating it back to the Case Study • She has limited time and IT knowledge, this makes a CSS extremely advisable. • The site is relatively new and undergoing a complete modification: advisable to use an Open Source CSS until the web site is stable and all the tools which will be needed are well determined. • Her clients need to be able to upload images and videos which means the CSS will require privileges settings as well as the capacity to allow video and image uploads. • The CSS should not require networking tools beyond possibly a business blog which mentions new developments or sales