Learn English – How to understand the word cascade in CSS


Why it is called cascade, instead of inheritable, or derivable, or chained, or something else? Maybe I have misunderstood the word? And, when should I use the word cascade in my own software architectures?

Best Answer

Cascading is used in a manner specifically referring to the priority-based rule matching mechanism. Inherit would tend to be avoided because CSS isn't a programming language, and the way cascading rules work illustrates that; CSS cascading is actually very nearly the opposite of OOP inheritance. Chaining implies entities being joinable in sequence in a way that isn't the case with CSS. Derivable tends to imply a bottom-up organization, like with inheritance, where CSS's is more top-down.

If you are making architecture that involves a broad set of entities with subsets being targeted for processing by arbitrary rule sets that can override each other based on their priority, then I would say sure, use cascading as part of its description.