CSS spec­i­fi­ca­tion lev­els

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In this ar­ti­cle I have re­ferred to dif­fer­ent lev­els of CSS spec­i­fi­ca­tion. For ex­am­ple, the new work on CSS Grid sub­grid is in Grid Level 2, while the new fea­tures for Me­dia Queries are part of the Me­dia Queries Level 4 spec­i­fi­ca­tion. These lev­els re­fer to the progress of in­di­vid­ual spec­i­fi­ca­tions through the stan­dard­i­s­a­tion process. You may have heard peo­ple talk about CSS3, and the mod­ules that we used to re­fer to as CSS3 were all the mod­ules that con­tained CSS, which ex­isted in CS2.1 prior to the mod­u­lar­i­sa­tion of CSS. In CSS2.1 we had one sin­gle spec­i­fi­ca­tion that in­cluded ev­ery­thing in CSS. CSS3 marked the move to a more mod­u­lar process and from this point each part of CSS could move for­ward at dif­fer­ent rates.

There­fore, a spec­i­fi­ca­tion, which was at level 3 at that point and be­came a W3C Rec­om­men­da­tion at Level 3, will have new fea­tures added to a Level 4. Once that spec­i­fi­ca­tion is com­plete then work will start on a Level 5. New spec­i­fi­ca­tions such as CSS Grid Lay­out, which did not ex­ist in CSS2.1, start life at Level 1. A draft goes through var­i­ous sta­tuses be­fore be­com­ing a W3C Rec­om­men­da­tion. Im­por­tantly to us as web de­vel­op­ers, to get to that point each fea­ture needs to have two dif­fer­ent im­ple­men­ta­tions. This pre­vents CSS be­ing stan­dard­ised in a way that can only be im­ple­mented in one browser. To find out more about how new CSS be­comes part of our browsers, watch this talk that I gave at CSSConf.EU: youtube.com/ watch?v=cYGOv2ToZjY.

Above The fu­ture of CSS is mod­u­lar – and that means a change to the way spec­i­fi­ca­tions for dif­fer­ent fea­tures are set out. You can find out more and get in­volved at w3.org/Style/ CSS/cur­rent-work.en.html

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