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XML and Java™ from scratch by Nicholas Chase

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Controlling Presentation: Cascading Style Sheets

Although the vast majority of those authoring Web pages today don't remember this, early browsers actually gave users a small amount of control over how Web pages were displayed. For instance, a Web page author could use the (now almost forgotten) <strong> tag to designate that something is important, as in

Don't forget to <strong>notify us of changes!</strong>

In most cases. this tag was rendered as bold, but the early browsers, such as Mosaic, allowed the user to choose to display it as, perhaps, red or italic. This function was lost as newer browsers gave authors control over presentation, or at least as much control as HTML would allow. HTML wasn't perfect, but at least if the author set ...

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