Different Media Types

This phenomenon has placed a considerable burden on content authors. No longer can they write their documents with expectations on how that content will be displayed. Each of these new devices represents a quite different medium from the computer: the physical characteristics of the devices are different, the relationship between the device and the user is different, and the cost of using the device is different.

Until recently, authors had little choice but to author or re-author their content with each device in mind. With the advent of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and something called ‘media types’, this began to change.

In this chapter, we will learn how to use CSS and media types to tailor our documents to different devices.

In this chapter we will cover the following:

  • What media types are and why we need them
  • What the role of Cascading Style Sheets is in supporting media types
  • How to associate style sheets with different media types
  • How to use @media rules and @import rules
  • The differences between media types and strategies for handling them
  • The future of style sheets in XML

First, we will define media types and try to understand why they are important.