Date: Mon, 11 Nov 1996 14:03:44 -0800 (PST) From: "Kevin 'Kev' Hughes" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Message-Id: <199611112203.OAA29500@eit.com> To: email@example.com Subject: HTML 3.2 PR color value syntax As a practicing Web designer I suggest making the following modifications to the HTML 3.2 color value syntax. Currently, color values in HTML are denoted as hexidecimal triplets. Here are the negative aspects of this syntax: * This format does not reflect current practice. The hexidecimal format is an apparent holdover from the way colors are specified in X. Most professional designers today do not use X-based tools to generate online art but rather use tools on the Macintosh and PC that have no knowledge of this format. * Popular graphics tools do not support this format. In the process of creating art for the Web, many designers either refer to the default color picker supplied with their operating system or refer to the color picker supplied in their software of choice. All of the Windows-based color pickers I have used can specify colors as RGB triplets with the values ranging from 0 to 255. One common Macintosh color picker that comes with the OS can specify colors as a triplet of percentages, with values ranging from 0% to 100%. Common development tools such as Adobe Photoshop, DeBabelizer, and Painter can *all* understand the RGB triplet syntax, which makes it easy to use these tools together. *None* of them understand the hexidecimal syntax. * This format is not "user-friendly". The format is harder to read; hexidecimal values do not easily map to colors mentally, since most people do not usually deal with such numbering schemes. Because the values are next to each other without any delimiters, it is hard to remember as a string. It is easier to remember and visualize colors in the RGB triplet syntax. * The format needlessly generates more work invested in the development of tools and documentation. I have seen and evaluated almost one dozen different utilities on the Macintosh and PC platforms whose sole purpose is to translate colors to hexidecimal values or translate RGB values to hexidecimal and vice versa. None of these would have existed if the RGB triplet syntax were supported in the first place. I have seen dozens of pages that show users how to understand hexidecimal and how to convert the string to and from the RGB triplet syntax. This is arcane, obsolete knowledge and is a waste of time. Stop the madness! I have been asking for this change publically ever since Netscape implemented the syntax. Here are my suggestions: <BODY BGCOLOR="#FFFFFF"> (as it is currently) This is how colors are currently specified. <BODY BGCOLOR="255,255,255"> (range 0-255) I suggest that one have the ability to specify a comma-delimited RGB triplet of values, with each value ranging from 0 to 255. <BODY BGCOLOR="100%,100%,100%"> (range 0%-100%) I suggest also that one have the ability to specify a comma-delimited RGB triplet of percentages, with each percentage ranging from 0% to 100%. The percent sign must be included with the value so it can be interpreted as a percentage, otherwise the value will be interpreted as a number being within the range of 0 to 255. The percentages must be whole numbers. The code to parse this extra syntax is trivial. If HTML were not written and read by people, there would be no need for this change. Unfortunately, most if not all serious Web designers find it necessary to read and write HTML to achieve exactly the right effect. It is because of this fact that I would hope that this extra color value syntax be supported. Thanks, -- Kevin -- Kevin Hughes * firstname.lastname@example.org * http://www.eit.com/~kevinh/ Hypermedia Industrial Designer * VeriFone Internet Commerce * icd.verifone.com Duty now for the future!