This is the same example as before except that now the the link to the external stylesheet appears after the embedded stylesheet. Now the specifications of the external stylesheet control.
These two examples suggest that whatever is specified last controls. The W3C Recommendation for HTML 4.01 states at 14.4:
"To define a cascade, authors specify a sequence of LINK and/or STYLE elements. The style information is cascaded in the order the elements appear in the HEAD." and later,
"The cascading mechanism is used when a number of style rules all apply directly to an element. The mechanism allows the user agent to sort the rules by specificity, to determine which rule to apply. If no rule can be found, the next step depends on whether the style property can be inherited or not. Not all properties can be inherited. For these properties the style sheet language provides default values for use when there are no explicit rules for a particular element." (from www.w3.org/TR/html4/present/styles.html#idx-style_sheet-11)
Apparently a specification in an external stylesheet and in an embedded stylesheet
are viewed as equally specific, and whichever is specified last, applies.
Revised: October 11, 2005. Comments to William Pegram, email@example.com