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Re: Color specification in style sheets

From: Susan Lesch <lesch@macvirus.com>
Date: Tue, 2 Dec 1997 12:27:39 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <l03110701b0a97a474ac7@[12.64.133.50]>
To: www-style@w3.org, Joe Konstan <konstan@cs.umn.edu>
Joe Konstan writes:

> I just recently learned that the CSS group of W3C is planning
> to use RGB specifications as a human interface for color
> specification.  I would like to strongly suggest that RGB
> (which is nearly unintelligible to any human) not be the
> primary (and certainly not the only) mechanism for these
> specifications.
>
> While the limited set of names will be a help, having a
> human-friendly notation based on color perception rather than
> light-value decomposition would be an improvement.  The HSL
> system, which represents a more geometrically sensible color
> space than the cube, is certainly one reasonable approach
> (though it would be nice to leave the specification open to the
> definition of new color spaces given a format and mapping).
> I encourage you to include it in the standard.

The HTML and CSS color names set, known as "keywords," are no
standard except Windows VGA and HTML 3.2. Some of those sixteen
colors are are UNIX 5-bit; all happen to match fairly well for
Macintosh and Windows/Win95/NT at 8-bit.

I asked yesterday if those color keywords could please be
deprecated in CSS2 [1].

Sorry, I do not look forward to learning HSL [2] because I have
learned sRGB [3] and all my reference materials and documents
would have to be re-written. Is HSL a new trend? Why was it not
recommended in HTML 3.2 if it is so good? For someone who asked
on Monday, it takes about 30 (rather than 10) lines of code to
convert RGB to HSL for Windows, depending on where braces land.
[4] (pardon my errors; I looked it up in a minute at Yahoo).

[1] Work in progress, CSS2 syntax and basic data types
http://www.w3.org/TR/WD-CSS2/syndata.html#h-4.2.5
[2] HSL Color Model, courtesy Micrografx Inc.
http://www.micrografx.com/picturepublisher/docs/pp5ug/chap04/hslmodel.htm
[3] A Standard Default Color Space for the Internet - sRGB
http://www.w3.org/Graphics/Color/sRGB
[4] from Fundamentals of Interactive Computer Graphics, Foley and van Dam
http://www.r2m.com/win-developer-FAQ/graphics/8.html

--
Susan Lesch
Mac Virus
http://www.macvirus.com/
Received on Tuesday, 2 December 1997 12:55:03 GMT

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