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Re: [CSS-TECHS] system colors

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Sun, 22 Jul 2001 01:30:46 -0700
Message-Id: <a05100304b7803dad692a@[]>
To: Wendy A Chisholm <wendy@w3.org>, w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
At 12:29 PM -0400 2001/7/18, Wendy A Chisholm wrote:
>In your mesage to IG you say that this technique "BREAKS HORRIBLY in 
>Netscape 4 for Mac 5 and in Netscape 4 for Windows."  That doesn't 
>sound too convincing that it's a good thing to do. <grin/>

In general, Netscape tries to interpret all "words" as (a) known colors,
or (b) RGB values.  System keywords aren't in there, which means that
it tries to match them to one of the above.  Since they aren't known
colors, it assumes they're badly formed RGB values.

This means the result is some sort of sickly green or bright magenta
or some other unreadable color formed from trying to read words as
RGB triples.  I quoted a URL on IG; if you have Netscape, take a look
and see, I think it's bright magenta on bright magenta.  (Because many
of the system color keywords are so similar, they run the risk of low
contrast in addition to ugly colors.)

>How does it break? Are there possible work-arounds?  I guess you 
>could browser-sniff for Netscape and serve a different SS to them...

This is what the W3C currently does, to the best of my knowledge, so
we may want to consider that as a likely technique.

>I agree that it could be moved up to the color section, but what 
>kind of warning should we issue with it?

"Warning:  Version 4.X of Netscape Navigator contains a bug which
interprets system color keywords as RGB triples, resulting in
unpredictable color display in that browser.  A possible work-around
can be achieved by detecting browser types and serving up an
appropriate stylesheet. [see: browser detection and alternate

And that should be a link to a new section -- or do we already have
a section on that?  (If not, we need one, because if this is good
enough for the W3C to do, then it likely is a decent recommendation.
Netscape 4.X is SOO broken -- and IE 3.X even more so -- that you
can't really do high-power CSS without browser detection or tweaking.
E.g., Netscape 4.02 CRASHES on specific cases of valid CSS.)


Kynn Bartlett <kynn@reef.com>
Technical Developer Liaison
Reef North America
Accessibility - W3C - Integrator Network
Tel +1 949-567-7006
Received on Sunday, 22 July 2001 04:38:53 UTC

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