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Old 09-26-2006, 08:12 AM   #1
Registered: Sep 2004
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
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CSS/XHTML combined tags possible?

This is a question that so far all searching for has come up null.

To explain: I want to be able to declare a tag in a CSS stylesheet that would implement many HTML tags with one tag. For example: when I post ASCII art in my blog, I need the "code" tag so the renderer doesn't mistake errant symbols for commands, the "pre" tag so it doesn't change line-break formatting, and then I want cool green text on black background for that nostalgic terminal look, and finally turn off default floating on the div class. So if I could do this:

  apply: code;
  apply: pre;
  foreground-color: #00FF00;
  background-color: #000000;
  float: none;
I could just wrap one tag and be done with it, and also my commenters could do the same. Many other applications come to mind for this method. Generally, instead of specifying tags "foo, bar, and baz", I could just use a macro-tag "buzz" and declare in a stylesheet what buzz means.

Does such a concept exist in web design anywhere? What's the name of it, so I can Google for it?
Old 09-27-2006, 08:06 PM   #2
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I don't think so. That would be against the 'separation of content and presentation' which is what CSS is all about. If you can create meta tags that enable this, I think it would be a function of your blog software, not the xhtml/css spec.

You could write a simple function that takes care of all this for you, ie: (assuming php here)

function showAscii($file) {
    print "<code class='ASCII_art'><pre>";
    $ascii = file_get_contents($file);
    print $ascii;
    print "</code></pre>";
And call like:

<?php showAscii("./ascii_dragon.txt"); ?>

Of course this will depend on if your blogging software is 'hackable'.

Last edited by bulliver; 09-27-2006 at 08:09 PM.
Old 09-27-2006, 11:03 PM   #3
Registered: Apr 2002
Location: Windsor, ON, CA
Distribution: Ubuntu
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I think it would be best if you explained a little more about your project, so we could give you some more creative ideas to solve your problem. Just so you know, the code tag won't let you write HTML, the characters still have to be escaped. I think your really just looking for the pre tag, styling that, then using some server side function to turn special characters into their XHTML entity equivalents. Example, php's htmlentities


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