The man who created CSS in 1994, the year of net magazine’s birth, discusses its past, present and future
Håkon Wium Lie, the man who created CSS, discusses its past, present and future
net: How did you get CSS so right: was it more about luck or judgement? HWL: CSS was designed with longevity in mind. New selectors, properties and values can be added without changing the syntax due to the forward-compatible parsing rules. I can’t claim credit for that, though, Dan Connolly first brought this issue up and Bert Bos wrote the formal grammar.
Another reason for the vitality of CSS is the community that formed around the specifications. Designers wanted CSS to succeed even if they could charge customers more by writing browser-specific code. Todd Fahrner, Jeff Zeldman, and Eric Meyer must be mentioned. Also, the Acid2 test was crucial for getting CSS implementations aligned, without it CSS may have fractured.
However, I am truly excited by all the incredible things people are doing with HTML and CSS today, things we didn’t imagine possible a decade ago. CSS Variables and Grids add important new functionality for coders and hopefully a new font format will make the web even more beautiful. If we can keep both the coders and designers happy, CSS will live for many years to come!