Jens Oliver Meiert

WDR #1: Versioned Style Sheets

Post from November 15, 2008 (↻ December 12, 2016), filed under .

This and many other posts are also available as a pretty, well-behaved e-book: On Web Development.

Ladies and gents, all I present’s… the Web Dev Report, issue #1:

The Web Dev Report: Versioned style sheets.

Transcript. (Marked up in reference to § 10.3, yet missing the dialog element.)

Guy 1:
Hey man, how’s it going?
I gotta tell you… these versioned style sheets damn rock…!
So, like default-20080301.css, default-20080623.css, default-20081012.css…
Guy 2:
(What the $#%@.)
Guy 1:
It’s sooo cool! Every time we modify our main style sheet we just append the date and have only certain pages use that CSS file. No messing with the old #$%@!
Guy 2:
So you treat your one site as several sites?
Guy 1:
Guy 2:
And with a redesign you want the kick to either update all versioned style sheets or update all documents to use the new default CSS?
Guy 1:
Guy 2:
And HTML/CSS prototypes are a waste of time and money, right?
Guy 1:
What the $#%@ man, leave me alone!

“Versioned” wasn’t known to Merriam-Webster and other dictionaries but it’s so popular, I decided to keep with it. More importantly, let’s see what happens to the report. Will there be an issue #2?

About the Author

Jens Oliver Meiert, on April 19, 2019.

Jens Oliver Meiert is a technical lead and author (sum.cumo, W3C, O’Reilly). He loves trying things, including in the realms of philosophy, art, and adventure. Here on he shares and generalizes and exaggerates some of his thoughts and experiences.

If you have any thoughts or questions (or recommendations) about what he writes, leave a comment or a message.

Comments (Closed)

  1. On November 15, 2008, 13:09 CET, Zacky said:

    Accessible Comic 😁

  2. On November 15, 2008, 14:23 CET, Dennis Frank said:

    Will there be issue #2?

    So mean versioned Web Dev Reports?

    Looking forward to this.

  3. On November 15, 2008, 14:33 CET, Phil Nash said:

    Who does this?!!!

  4. On November 15, 2008, 17:27 CET, Jens Oliver Meiert said:

    Zacky, Dennis, 😊

    Phil, oh, that’s not too uncommon I fear. And still, it—style sheet versioning, this way—doesn’t make much sense, no.

  5. On November 15, 2008, 17:56 CET, Tony said:

    Accessible and sincere, plus it’s a comic so is good for the heart, great! I’ll be waiting for the next one

  6. On November 16, 2008, 9:52 CET, Kroc Camen said:

    You should do one about the accessibility benefits of:

    <html><body><object ... /></body></html>

  7. On November 17, 2008, 16:37 CET, Andrei said:

    I’ve never heard of “versioned” stylesheets…

    The closest I’ve ever come across are “sectional” stylesheets (navigation, content, reset, footer, etc.), but those make a ton of sense - you simply “save” the old section stylesheet into an archive folder, and overwrite the one on the server with the updated one.


  8. On November 22, 2008, 1:10 CET, Jens Nedal said:

    I love that one. I thought versioning was left to CVS or SVN? In what sinkhole would i have to live to try versioning my files in this fashion. I shiver at the thought of someone out there actually doing it that way.

  9. On December 18, 2008, 18:45 CET, yurik said:

    and why is it bad to version number style sheets?
    I’m feeling like the “err” guy right now…

    and to reply the question that you might be thinking: no i don’t version my style sheets (yet)

    unless i figure out the reason why not to.

    note1: i use server side language that combines all the style sheets into one big one, so when changing my style sheet version number, i just change a small thing in my server side script, and everything will work fine with no time wasted…or will it?.
    note2: I know that Etags were invented for this style sheet file version separation, but they aren’t much help.

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