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

Re: Gray, color keywords

From: gordon <gordon@quartz.gly.fsu.edu>
Date: Sun, 7 Dec 1997 22:38:45 -0800
Message-ID: <007a01bd03a3$f048d720$52f0d9cf@epidote>
To: <www-style@w3.org>, "Susan Lesch" <lesch@macvirus.com>
I know it must make a difference somewhere, but even with 32bit color I
can't 'see' the difference in these two bands of gray.  Do I need to rustle
up an old CGA card to see the difference?

<TITLE>Grayed Out!</TITLE>
<body bgcolor="black" text="white" style="background:black; color:white;
<div style="width:90%; margin-left:5%; background:#7f7f7f;
text-align:center; border:solid thin black;">
<div style="width:90%; margin-left:5%; background:#808080;
text-align:center; border:solid thin black;">

-----Original Message-----
From: Susan Lesch <lesch@macvirus.com>
To: www-style@w3.org <www-style@w3.org>
Date: Sunday, December 07, 1997 7:37 PM
Subject: Gray, color keywords

>If these sources and my reading are right, Netscape assigned 127,127,127,
>to "gray" at one time [1], and 128,128,128 to "gray" at another time [2].
>In short, gray might be the only named color with conflicting values,
>#7F7F7F and #808080. I am trying to locate and patch the holes introduced
>in CSS1, or at least understand why these colors appear and are undefined
>in the Recommendation.
>"gray" is about 50% [3], right on the line, and right on the plane if you
>will. It turned out even color-picker math can fail to predict real-world
>display [4]. In 1-bit output, with display determined by user preferences,
>the operating system, user agent, graphics card, monitor settings, and
>other variables, gray could be in nice contrast, or it could render a page
>illegible -- not gray, but white on white, or black on black.
>Reliable color sources are hard to find; these URLs connect at time of
>writing. I have tempered my first impression, and only mildly wonder about
>different names used for the same color. I am worried to see a name in
>international standards used to signify at least two different colors.
>[1] 123 color palette, courtesy Michigan State University
>    http://pads1.pa.msu.edu/demo/color/color.html
>[2] 140 color palette, "Color values," in JavaScript Resources, Netscape
>    <URL:http://www.netscape.com/comprod/products/navigator/version_2.0/
>[3] "50% gray is represented by 127/127/127.."
>    definition, courtesy Dave White, Color Theory basics, "Describing
>[4] most useful farther from zero
>    NTSC/PAL related equation, courtesy Jason Harrison
>    http://www.cs.ubc.ca/spider/harrison/document-colors.html
>Susan Lesch
Received on Monday, 8 December 1997 01:39:10 UTC

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