In the previous chapters, we covered a great deal of practical information on how CSS handles text and fonts in a document. In this chapter, we'll look at the theoretical side of visual rendering, answering many of the questions we skipped earlier in the interest of addressing how CSS is implemented.
Why is it necessary to spend an entire chapter on the theoretical underpinnings of visual rendering in CSS? The answer is that with a model as open and powerful as that contained within CSS, no book could hope to cover every possible way of combining properties and effects. You will obviously go on to discover new ways of using CSS for your own document effects.
In the course of exploring CSS, you may encounter seemingly strange behaviors in user agents. With a thorough grasp of how the visual rendering model works in CSS, you'll be able to determine whether a behavior is a correct (though unexpected) consequence of the rendering engine CSS defines, or whether you've stumbled across a bug that needs to be reported.