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Professional ASP.NET 3.5 SP1 Edition: In C# and VB by Devin Rader, Scott Hanselman, Bill Evjen

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Chapter 18. HTML and CSS Design with ASP.NET

When HTML was first introduced by Tim Berners-Lee, it was intended to be a simple way for researchers using the Internet to format and cross-link their research documents. At the time, the Web was still primarily text-based; therefore, the formatting requirements for these documents were fairly basic. HTML needed only a small handful of basic layout concepts such as a title, paragraph, headers, and lists. As the Web was opened up to the general public, graphical browsers were introduced, and as requirements for formatting Web pages continued to expand, newer versions of HTML were introduced. These newer versions expanded the original capabilities of HTML to accommodate the new, rich graphical browser environment, allowing table layouts, richer font styling, images, and frames.

While all of these improvements to HTML were helpful, HTML still proved to be inadequate for allowing developers to create complex, highly stylized Web pages. Therefore, in 1994 a new technology called Cascading Style Sheets was introduced. CSS served as a complementary technology to HTML, giving developers of Web pages the power they needed to finely control the style of their Web pages.

As the Web has matured, CSS has gained popularity as developers realized that it has significant advantages over standard HTML styling capabilities. Unlike HTML, which was originally conceived as primarily a layout mechanism, CSS was conceived from the beginning to provide rich styling ...

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