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Håkon Wium Lie (born 1965 in Haldenmarker, Norwaymarker) is a web pioneer, a standards activist, and , Chief Technology Officer of Opera Software.

He is best known for proposing the concept of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) while working with Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau at CERNmarker in 1994. As an employee at W3C, he developed CSS into a W3C Recommendation with Bert Bos. CSS is one of the fundamental web standards, with profound impact on typography, aesthetics, and accessibility on the web.

Along with his work on the CSS specifications, Wium Lie has been an activist for standards in general. Often, Microsoft's Internet Explorer has been his target due to its poor support for standards. Also, he has argued against the use of formatting objects on the web. Wium Lie proposed the Acid2 test which was later developed and published by the Web Standards Project.

In 2006, Wium Lie started campaigning for browsers to support downloadable web fonts using common font formats. , all major browser vendors except Microsoft have implemented web fonts this way.. Likewise, in 2007, Wium Lie started campaigning for the video element to make it easier to publish video on the web.

Wium Lie has also promoted the concept of printing from the web. His book on CSS, co-authored with Bert Bos, was produced from HTML and CSS files. These files were then converted to PDF by the Prince XML formatter.


Håkon Wium Lie attended Østfold College, West Georgia College, and MIT Media Labmarker, receiving an MS in Visual Studies in 1991. On February 17, 2006, he successfully defended his PhD thesis at University of Oslomarker.

His PhD thesis is an illuminating background to the origins of CSS and a rationale to some of the design decisions behind it—particularly as to why some features were not included and why CSS avoids trying to become DSSSL.


He has worked for, among others, the W3C, INRIA, CERNmarker, MIT Media Labmarker, and Norwegianmarker telecom research in Televerket.

In 2005, he joined the board of YesLogic, the company that makes the Prince XML + CSS formatter.


Lie and Bert Bos wrote a book on CSS, now in its third edition.

Personal life

Wium Lie lives in Oslomarker, Norwaymarker. There, he has started web-based campaigns against high-rise buildings and advertising in the public space.


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