Re: HTML 3.2 PR color value syntax

Chris Lilley (
Wed, 13 Nov 1996 14:58:57 +0100

From: Chris Lilley <>
Subject: Re: HTML 3.2 PR color value syntax
Date: Wed, 13 Nov 1996 14:58:57 +0100
Message-ID: <>
To: James Aylett <>

James Aylett wrote:

> Given the R,G,B delimiters it would be possible to add other colour
> models; CMYK, HSV etc. From the point of view of using the web to publish
> documents originally designer for printing this would make for easier
> conversion; 

I suspect from reading this that you have not actually done it, and 
are just suggesting it as an off the cuff idea. CMYK values are specific 
to a given ink set, press type and paper type. HSV gets you nothing
- any scheme that claims that blue (#0000FF) and yellow (#FFFF00) are 
the same lightness/brightness/value is not really a big help.

> If we're going to extend the accepted syntax, at least let's do it
> usefully rather than just adding random hacks whenever anyone has 
> an idea.
> The old #rrggbb format could easily be kept for backwards compatability.

Right. Recall that the purpose of HTML 3.2 is to document and codify
used practice, so backwards compatibility is it's sole goal. Other HML
are needed to define where we are going, once we have defined where we 
start from.

I should perhaps point out that style sheets are a better bet for adding 
colors, etc to an HTML document and that CSS1 aklready includes the
that have been proposed here - decimal 0..255, percentages (with decimal 
fractions) and so on. It also defines what those colors mean, in terms
measurable objective color definitions, so that browesers have enough 
information to display the right color even (gasp) on different

So yes these are all good ideas and infact have been in the relevant 
specification for some time. It just depends which specification - HTML
is not the relevant one in this case.

Chris Lilley, W3C                          [ ]
Graphics and Fonts Guy            The World Wide Web Consortium              INRIA,  Projet W3C                       2004 Rt des Lucioles / BP 93
+33 (0)4 93 65 79 87       06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France