As you might have noticed, I recently wrote about how I got started with CSS a quarter century ago, what I’ve seen change over that long span of time, and the role testing has played in both of those things.
After all, CSS tests are most of how I got onto the Cascading Style Sheets & Formatting Properties Working Group (as it was known then) back in the late 1990s. After I’d finished creating tests for nearly all of CSS, I wrote the chair of the CSS&FP WG, Chris Lilley, about it. The conversation went something like, “Hey, I have all these tests I’ve created, would the WG or browser makers be at all interested in using them?” To which the answer was a resounding yes.
Not too much later, I made some pithy-snarky comment on www-style about how only the Cool Kids on the WG knew what was going on with something or other, and I wasn’t one of them, pout pout. At which point Chris emailed me to say something like, “We have this role called Invited Expert; how would you like to be one?” To which the answer was a resounding (if slightly stunned) yes.
I came aboard with a lot of things in mind, but the main thing was to merge my test suite with some other tests and input from smart folks to create the very first official W3C test suite. Of any kind, not just for CSS. It was announced alongside the promotion of CSS2 to Recommendation status in December 1998.
I stayed an Invited Expert for a few years, but around 2003 I withdrew from the group for lack of time and input, and for the last 17-some years, that’s how it’s stayed. Until now, that is: as of yesterday, I’ve rejoined the CSS Working Group, this time as an official Member, one of several representing Igalia. And fittingly, Chris Lilley was the first to welcome me back.
I’m returning to take back up the mantle I carried the first time around: testing CSS. I intend to focus on creating Web Platform Test entries demonstrating new CSS features, clarifying changes to existing specifications, and filling in areas of CSS that are under-tested. Maybe even to draft tests for things the WG is debating, to explore what a given proposal would mean in terms of real-world rendering.
My thanks to Igalia for enabling my return to the CSS WG, as well as supporting my contributions yet to come. And many thanks to the WG for a warm welcome. I have every hope that I’ll be able to once more help CSS grow and improve in my own vaguely unique way.