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CSS or the cascading style sheet is a style sheet language, written in markup language, used for simplifying the process of making web pages presentable. It mainly deals with the look of the web page and thus works on the color of the text, font styles, paragraph spacing, background image, layout etc.CSS is mostly combined with markup languages HTML and XHTML.

Creation and Maintenance

CSS was invented by Hakon Wium Lie, on 1994, and maintained by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) through their CSS working group. Documents called specifications are created by the CSS working group, which are later discussed and ratified to become a recommendation.

 Advantages of CSS

Helps in Saving Time: As a written CSS can be used multiple times in an HTML page, it saves a lot of the user’s time. A style defined in an HTML element can be reused further in many web pages.

Easy Maintenance:  By simply changing a style in a web page, we can bring about a global change, thus updating every element in the page. 

Pages Load faster: HTML tag attributes need not be written every time when one uses CSS. A single CSS rule of tags can be applied to all occurrences of the tag.This thus saves user his downloading time. 

Superior in style to HTML: Having a wider array of attributes as compared to HTML, CSS, one can give a webpage a far better look to their HTML page.

Global Web Standards: Now with CSS started gaining global standards, it is now preferred to be used in HTML pages so as to make it compatible with every device. 

Off line browsing: Web applications can be stored locally with the help of an offline cache which can be viewed, downloaded or copied with the use of offline browser while no internet connection. 

Allows Multiple Device Compatibility: Style sheets allow contents to be optimized in more than one type of a device, thus enabling different versions of a website presented on different devices using CSS.

Versions of CSS

CSS1: Came out of W3C as a recommendation in December 1996.This version explains the CSS language, as well as simple visual formatting model for the HTML tags

CSS2: Coming out as a recommendation in May 1998, it builds on CSS1. This version gives support for media-specific style sheets.  

CSS3: Build on the older versions of CSS; it became a recommendation in June 1999. It is divided into modules and has a number of extended features, including, text effects, multiple column layouts, animations, User interface etc. 

Limitations of Cascading Style Sheets

Cannot name rules: CSS rule cannot be named, which would allow, client side scripts to refer to the rules, even if its selector changes. 

Cannot include styles from a rule into another rule: CSS styles often must be duplicated in several rules to achieve the desired effect. This causes additional maintenance and also requires more thorough testing.

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