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by Antone Roundy

The Path of the Ascetic

The CSS Trappist Monastery is a spiritual brother to the css Zen Garden. We seek to provide a quiet place to ponder and explore the virtues and mysteries of cascading style sheets.

The official name of our order is the Cascadian Order of the Strict Conformance. A Cascadian monk practices design in the most ascetic manner possible by renouncing all but the twelve true images:

Monk Cross Peach colored checkerboard pattern Light green checkerboard pattern Light blue checkerboard pattern White checkerboard pattern Light gray checkerboard pattern Medium gray checkerboard pattern Dark gray checkerboard pattern Black checkerboard pattern Three-colored checkerboard pattern Gecko

Each design adds a verse to a Cascadian Hymn.

What Does One Do For Fun in the Monastery?

First, peruse the existing designs. The content for each is identical--the only difference being that each has a different stylesheet.

Next, download the HTML and a sample CSS file, and modify the CSS to make your own design.

Then, if you are committed, become a candidate by posting your CSS file on your website and sending me the URL, a title, your name, and a URL for linking to your site. If your design is accepted, it will be posted on this site, and you will be an official Cascadian Monk or Nun.

The Rule of St. Cascadis

Your design may use only the twelve true images.

Your CSS must validate. As much as possible, use only widely supported CSS elements. We are likely to reject designs that do not work in Mozilla. If your design works in IE too, all the better.

We will only accept designs submitted under the Creative Commons license so that others may benefit from your pious artistry. The license notice must appear in the CSS file.

Validation & Accessibility

A Sermon From the Abbot

Many web designers use images as crutches, throwing them in where modern web standards like CSS and DOM enable more elegant solutions. This overuse of images results in slower page loads and often in reduced accessibility. The power of CSS enables more efficient methods of achieving good design. This site explores the question of what can be done with minimal use of images as a step toward understanding the optimal use of both text and images in web design.

The css Zen Garden pioneered the idea of exploring the possibilities for design using CSS. It was targeted at graphic designers, and allowed designers to integrate their own graphics into their designs.

This site focuses more on CSS by severely limiting the images that may be used in designs, thus focusing tightly on what can be accomplished using stylesheets alone.