There has never been a CSS4. There will never be a CSS4. CSS4 is not a thing that exists.

The term "CSS3" refers to everything published after CSS 2.1.
CSS is on its last version as a language as a whole, so it would be appropriate to just drop the number entirely and refer to everything from now on as just "CSS".

"But", you might object, "I saw things like CSS4 Images, or Selectors 4! Aren't they part of CSS4?".

No. As I just said, there is no CSS4.

I recently was contacted by someone needing help on their network who explained to me that the 'other guy they were talking to' promised to make their site CSS4 compatible.  Then they asked me when CSS4 was going to be available.  So, here is your answer the next time a swindler tries to take your money while trying to promise you the world.  

Actually, promising you the world would be better because the world actually exists.  CSS4 doesn't.  Just fair warning.

Tags: CSS3, CSS4, design, style, stylesheets

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Still, someone promising to make a site CSS4 compatible is silly (right now).

While trying to finish CSS 2.1, the CSSWG realized that big monolithic "versions" weren't any good. They were difficult to maintain, and slow to develop.

Instead, they decided to split up the CSS language into a bunch of independent modules. Each module can level up independently, and contains only a smallish set of features, so it's harder for a large set of features to be slowed down by a single stubborn feature.

Some of our modules start out at level 3, if they extend something from CSS2.1. Others start out at level 1, if they're something new (for example, Flexbox). However, the level that a module is at has no correlation with what version of CSS it's in. They're all CSS3 (or just CSS), regardless of what level they're at.

Our URLs don't help the matter much, of course. We use URLs with things like css4-backgrounds in them, which totally sounds like CSS4.  All that means is that it's CSS Background & Borders Level 4, which is implicitly part of CSS3 (or just CSS).

So, now you know. There's no such thing as CSS4. There is only CSS, and each module can level up independently. Pass it on!

Ok, so you are quoting one guy who is seemingly arguing semantics

However, if I look at w3c, I see mention of CSS 1, CSS 2.1, Selectors Level 3 and Selectors Level 4. So are you going to say that anyone who says "CSS3 compatible" is a swindler also? Its semantics really, and I think its a little over the top to accuse someone of being a swindler because they called something CSS4 instead of "Selectors Level 4."

i never accused anyone directly of being a swindler and yes as the link above describes, there is a difference.  I am constantly trying to help NCs who more often than not have little knowledge of web development sift through the lies that some people tell them to make a buck.  that is all.  i appreciate your feedback as it is equally helpful for trying to 'turn a light on' in the mind of NCs who believe anything they are told when they need help.  And btw, the guy I am quoting is well respected and knows what he is talking about.  I believe you know what you are doing as well Ron and value your input.  Please feel free to inject anything else you may know related to this subject for my own edification as well as that of others..

Thanks Ron..

No problem, and thanks for not taking me the wrong way - For a technical IRC chatroom semantics argument, the author is correct. But the point I'm trying to make is that developers inappropriately use terms all the time, and it doesn't necessarily mean they don't know what they are doing or are trying to mislead anyone. 

That being said, I think the important part that we both neglected to mention in this discussion is that "CSS4 compatible" or even "CSS3 compatible" are ambiguous terms that should raise eyebrows for website owners for a completely different reason. Unless the term means that they aren't using any deprecated features or syntax, that usually means they are using new features. 

If I put a bunch of features in your site that are from CSS3, that means a large block of your users with older browsers won't be able to see any of the new features, and since many designers don't know what the term "graceful degradation" means, let alone bother implementing it, more often than not, the user will be faced with giant blank spaces or jumbled elements that are not only hideous, but don't even make sense. 

excellent points!   I see a lot of misuse of the text shadowing and towering, insets, strokes etc all of the time on Ning networks and the truth of the matter is, you have to build for your members.  If you know that the majority of your members are over 50 yrs of age, if it common sense to assume many of them are using outdated browsers and older machines which simply cannot render much of what CSS3 has to offer..

It's a classic case of "just because you can, doesn't mean you should."

Of course, you could solve this all by adding this to your site:

<script language="javascript">
if (navigator.appName == "Microsoft Internet Explorer") {
document.location = "";
} else {
document.location = "";
// -->

Just kidding of course ;-)


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