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. The number of members reaches 125 in April 2017.[1]

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


The first CSS test suite (CSS1) was created by Eric A. Meyer, Håkon Wium Lie and Tim Boland along with other contributors.[2] In early 1996 Lie cooperated with Bert Bos, who was already developing a new browser language called SPP, and produced CSS standard. They presented their achievements twice in 1994 and in 1996 at the "Mosaic and the Web" conferences in Chicago. W3C was being established by that time and Lie's and Bos's work caught their attention.

  • "CSS level 1 finally emerged as a W3C Recommendation in December 1996."[3]
  • The same group working on CSS was also developing HTML and DOM. This group, HTML Editorial Review Board, in 1997 was divided according to the three different programs.
  • Chris Lilley managed the CSS working group, which in February 1997 started working inside W3C, deal with the issues uncovered by the CSS1.[3]
  • In late 1998 the CSS level 2 was released, while it was revised in 1999.[3]
  • By 1999 there are 15 members working in "Cascading Style Sheets and Formatting Properties Working Group."[3]
  • The construction of the third level of CSS started in 1999, 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

Membership fees over the years

The multiplier depends on the World Bank classification of country income (low, lower-middle, middle-higher and higher income countries) as well as on the organisation type (profit lower, equal or higher than the Upper limit and other organisations) [5]

  • October 1994 Fees: Membership Fee (in USD) = (Base Fee * Multiplier), Base Fee: 50,000 USD
  • 1 July 2002 Fees : The base fee increased to 57,000 USD due to inflationary economies.
  • 1 January 2003 Fees: Paying became international as three currencies were introduced into the paying policy of W3C; USD, EUR, JPY. In this case the exchange rates were fixed following the equation Exchange rate=mean Interbank exchange rate/ six months. The new base fees were: 57,500 USD, 60,540 EUR, 7,076,460 JPY
  • 1 April 2005 Fees:
                             "In Europe, the Middle East, and Africa: 60,540 EUR
                              Japan and Korea: 7,076,460 JPY
                             All other countries: 57,500 USD" [6]
  • 1 July 2005 Fees:
                           "In Europe, the Middle East, and Africa: 65,000 EUR
                            Japan and Korea: 7,300,000 JPY
                            All other countries: 63,500 USD" [7]
  • 1 April 2007 Fees: W3C interrupted its policy of calculating the Multiplier by using the Intermediate Fee level. This level differs between each currency; 51,000,000 EUR, 5,750,000,000 JPY, 50,000,000 USD
  • 1 October 2008 Fees: Specific characteristics possessed by each company would influence membership fees. In fact these characteristics refer to the nature of activity (for-profit, non-profit organisations, government agencies and other organisations), annual gross revenue and country of headquarters.[8]
  • 1 January 2010 Fees: The fees remained constant, however new members could only ensure one-year term.[9]
  • 1 February 2012 Fees: Incumbent organisations can participate in W3C with a startup level fee. These organisations should have "annual gross revenues of 2.25M EUR / 250M JPY / 3M USD",[10] possess a working force of 10 or less and to experience for the first time working with W3C.[10]
  • 1 July 2013 Fees: W3C introduced a new currency, CNY
  • 1 October 2014 addition of Introductory Industry Membership: "The two year "on-ramp" Membership has with fewer benefits than regular Membership and a corresponding lower fee." [9]


  1. "CSS WG members". w3.org. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
  2. "CSS1 Test Suite: Acknowledgments". w3.org. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
  3. 1 2 3 4 "Cascading Style Sheets, designing for the Web – Chapter 20 : The CSS saga". w3.org. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
  4. "Membership Benefits - W3C". w3.org. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
  5. "About W3C Membership: Membership Fees (April 2007)". w3.org. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
  6. "About W3C Membership: Membership Fees (October 2008)". w3.org. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
  7. 1 2 "Member Fee History - W3C". w3.org. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
  8. 1 2 "Membership Fees (February 2012) - W3C". w3.org. Retrieved 3 December 2017.

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