While HTML lets you do many things, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) let you do even more. In particular, they can save you a great deal of work when you want to make changes to the appearance of a Web page or even an entire website. This first article in a series covering CSS will explain where the CSS specification comes from and show you just a few of the ways you can use CSS.
Learn CSS, part 1 - Browsers we are going to use (Page 3 of 7 )
We will talk about CSS and browsers that support CSS in this series, but right now we need to know which browsers we are going to use to test our CSS code.
Microsoft Internet Explorer is the most well-known Internet browser and more than 80 percent of Web surfers use it. Currently the latest version of Microsoft Internet Explorer is version 6. Microsoft integrated IE 6 into the Windows Operating System. IE 6 does not support the latest CSS features, and though IE 7 is on its way, it remains questionable as to whether it will support CSS any better than its predecessor. You have to ask yourself "How can I develop a website that uses the most up-to-date CSS features and more than 80 percent of the people who visit the site will not be capable of using it?" You need to know what features Microsoft Internet Explorer supports and what it doesn't support. When it's appropriate I will tell you, so you can develop your websites to be compatible with the features that IE 6 supports.
There is another good browser. It's the Mozilla 1.7 browser, which has been used by about five percent of of Web surfers, and its user numbers continues to climb. The Mozilla browser supports most of the features introduced for CSS. When you download the browser, you will also receive an HTML editing tool, an Internet Relay Chat tool and an advanced e-mail and newsgroup client.
These features are not as attractive to Web users (though they attract us as Web designers and developers), so the Mozilla Organization released another browser called Firefox, which is merely a Web browser (without the advanced features of the full Mozilla software package). Both browsers use the Gecko engine to deliver Web pages. The Gecko engine is used in both Netscape browsers and Mozilla browsers, so Mozilla 1.7 and Firefox 1.0 both use Gecko, and therefore they boast the same support for CSS.
There are many other browsers, such as Opera, but I will be using Mozilla Firefox 1.0 and Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 for the code examples in this series. I know you would say right now "Enough dry text, I need to code." Okay, let's meet CSS and start coding.