Monthly Archives: January 2006

Parent Selectors and Reverse Inheritance

Andy Budd asks for parent selectors in “What I Want From CSS3 – Part 2“.

If you’re an exprienced CSS author, there is no doubt you have had a few “if only” moments when you’ve needed to affect a parent based on its children. You’re not alone. It looks like people have been asking for reverse inheritance since the dawn of CSS. In the comments of Andy’s post Mike Davidson mentions it’s been a problem for CSS Working Groups in the past. Indeed, I came to find the debate is long-standing.

At its core, we have to remember, the C in CSS stands for Cascade. So it stands to reason why there would be so much push-back on something that is inherently opposite. Still, if we were to go down up this path, an interesting question in my mind is how would you deal with specificity in this case. For instance…

a > b
b < c

Who would win? Once you start asking these questions, you get more questions and you find that the answers aren’t as simple is they might seem. The more you dig, the easier it is to see why parent selectors are a problem for implementors and why we’re still asking for them.

S5 Update from Eric Meyer

Eric Meyer has just released S5 1.2a1. For those that are unfamiliar with it, S5 stands for “A Simple Standards-Based Slide Show System”. Now with features like a permalink progress meter and compatibility fixes for both Opera and Konqueror, perhaps the greatest addition is the new notes window contributed by Shaun Inman. The notes window keeps track of how much time you’ve spent on the current slide and the overall presentaion as well. Very useful. All good stuff.

Now if this could just finish my actual presentation for me, I would deem it complete!


While catching up on my reading over at, I stumbled across AHAH. In a nutshell: it’s AJAX using static XHMTL fragments instead of having to process unformatted XML. Think of it as a dynamic client-side include system. Also known as JAH, this technique was being used long before the use of the combination of technologies behind AJAX were encapsulated in a four letter acronym. It’s nice to have something to call it now without feeling guilty for not having to process XML along the way.

Web Developer 1.0

Now this is something to celebrate! Chris Pederick has released version 1.0 of Web Developer. Commonly referred to as the “Web Developer Toolbar”, it’s the favorite Firefox extension of Web professionals everywhere. It’s so good that even Microsoft copied it (poorly) for IE.

I’ve been using it for well over a year now, and I honestly don’t know what I would do without this incredible tool. It makes my work so much easier. So…if you’re like me, and would be lost without it, make a donation while you are there.