WDR #1: Versioned Style Sheets

Published on November 15, 2008 (↻ February 5, 2024), filed under (RSS feed).

This and many other posts are also available as a pretty, well-behaved ebook: 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?

Toot about this?

About Me

Jens Oliver Meiert, on September 30, 2021.

I’m Jens, and I’m an engineering lead and author. I’ve worked as a technical lead for companies like Google, I’m close to W3C and WHATWG, and I write and review books for O’Reilly and Frontend Dogma. I love trying things, not only in web development, but also in other areas like philosophy. Here on meiert.com I share some of my views and experiences.

If you have a question or suggestion about what I write, please leave a comment (if available) or a message. Thank you!

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.