CSS Working Group

The CSS Working Group (Cascading Style Sheets Working Group) is a working group created by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) in 1997, to tackle issues that had not been addressed with CSS level 1. As of December 2019, the CSSWG had 142 members.[1]

The working group is co-chaired by Rossen Atanassov and Alan Stearns.


In early 1996 Håkon Wium Lie cooperated with Bert Bos, who was already developing a new browser language called SPP, to produce the first version of the CSS standard (CSS1). They presented their achievements twice, in 1994 and in 1996 at the "Mosaic and the Web" conferences in Chicago. The W3C was being established at that time and Lie's and Bos's work caught their attention.

  • CSS level 1 finally emerged as a W3C Recommendation in December 1996.[2]
  • The same group working on CSS was also developing HTML and DOM. This group, the HTML Editorial Review Board, in 1997 was divided according to the three different programs.
  • Chris Lilley managed the CSS Working Group, established in the W3C in February 1997, to deal with issues uncovered by the early implementation and adoption of CSS 1.[2]
  • The CSS 1 test suite was created by Eric A. Meyer, Håkon Wium Lie and Tim Boland along with other contributors, finishing in 2018.[3]
  • In late 1998 the first version of CSS 2 was released. In 1999 a revision (CSS 2.1) was released.[2]
  • By 1999 there are 15 members working in "Cascading Style Sheets and Formatting Properties Working Group."[2]
  • In 1999 work on CSS 3 started, but until 2006 it faced serious limitations.
  • In 2005 the CSS Working Group decided that already published standards (CSS 2.1, CSS3 text etc.) should be re-examined and updated.

Benefits for members

CSS working group members belong to the broader organization W3C. This membership offers to them four important benefits; interaction, strategy, participation and leadership. The first characteristic provided, can be explained more as an opportunity to meet and work with “leading companies, organizations, and individuals” specialized in web technologies. “W3C Activity proposals” are strategically examined and operated by the members, giving them the ability to work methodically. Participating in the CSS working group allows members to change/shape technologies influencing businesses as well as consumers. Finally, CSS members are adopting a significant role into the W3C project of developing the Web standards, which requires leadership skills and dedication.[4]


Members of the CSS Working Group include representatives from the following organizations:

W3C has also invited a few experts to collaborate with the working group:

There are a few W3C staff members also participating in the group:


Active editors of CSS Specifications include the following:

  • Rossen Atanassov
  • Tab Atkins Jr.
  • David Baron (computer scientist)
  • Bert Bos
  • Tantek Çelik
  • John Daggett
  • Elika Etemad
  • Simon Fraser
  • Aryeh Gregor


  1. "CSS WG members". w3.org. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  2. "Cascading Style Sheets, designing for the Web – Chapter 20 : The CSS saga". w3.org. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
  3. "CSS1 Test Suite: Acknowledgments". w3.org. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
  4. "Membership Benefits - W3C". w3.org. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
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