W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > December 1997

Re: Your help needed to make the Web more usable

From: Clive Bruton <clive@typonaut.demon.co.uk>
Date: Thu, 4 Dec 97 18:14:36 +0000
To: <www-style@w3.org>
Message-ID: <1330863074-63490391@[]>
Chris Lilley wrote at 04/12/97 5:30 pm

>It isn't. It has some widely-recognised human-factors limitations; it adds
>nothing that sRGB does not already have,  and is grossly inferior to any
>visual selection method (Pantone colors, Toyo, TrueMatch, visual color
>pickers, direct measurement) all of which can be correctly and unambiguously
>converted into sRGB and the resulting color specifcation written into the CSS

>Liam Quinn wrote on comp.human-factors:
>> I wouldn't mind the existing RGB
>> > method if it used base 10 instead of HEX numbers.
>> This is allowed in CSS1.  See <http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-CSS1#color-units>.

Base ten is a big step forward, and certainly helps non-hex brained 
people mix colours, and I'd certainly agree with Chris (is that a 
first!?) that HSL/HSB is no clearer to the end-user than RGB, but I'd add 
that I think both are problematic.

The reason is that (IMO) most people are more at home specifying pigment 
(subtractive colour) than light (additive colour), to them (in an RGB 
model) Red/Green = Yellow, or Red/Blue = Magenta seems nonsensical. On 
the other hand Cyan/Yellow = Green or Yellow/Magenta = Red is acceptable.

Only a very few, highly visually literate people can reconcile the two.

BTW, I'm not recommending yet another system (CMYK would be nice, though 
the K in this instance is probably redundant), just making a small point 
about end-user perceptions (and yes colour pickers can help, if they can 
show colour palettes at various bit-depths without dithering - ie 216 web 
safe, 256 8-bit...)

-- Clive
Received on Thursday, 4 December 1997 13:18:12 UTC

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