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

Re: Style sheet misuse advice -Reply

From: Charles Peyton Taylor <CTaylor@wposmtp.nps.navy.mil>
Date: Tue, 28 Jan 1997 10:13:07 -0800
Message-Id: <s2edd13f.001@wposmtp.nps.navy.mil>
To: liam@htmlhelp.com, www-style@www10.w3.org

>>> Liam Quinn <liam@htmlhelp.com> 01/28/97 08:17am >>>
>At 02:45 AM 28/01/97 -0500, Gordon Blackstock wrote:
>>| If one were to set Text and Link colors using a
>>| style sheet, should one also define the background
>>| colors for these elements as well?
>>Since there is no practical way to know in advance, or at the time
>>rendering, what the default settings of a browser may have been
>changed to
>>by a viewer, then it makes good sense to specify all colors if any
>are to
>>be changed by a document.  Without this precaution it is possible
>>happened to me) that portions of the document can be invisible to
>>viewer.  I would agree with Urban F. and go even further by adding
>that the
>>design is incomplete without all color bases covered.  

I think that it is the responsibility of the user to 
cover both background and foreground colors if the viewer 
customizes the browser.


>I think I'm leaning towards the suggestion that background and color
>properties always be given together.  The reason that I've never
>committed to this advice is that it still seems somewhat "not right"
>that an undesired highlighting effect could appear if the user, for
>example, overrides the BODY background but not the link background. 
>Since this would only leave a page unreadable in a small minority of
>(depending on the colours involved), I questioned whether it wouldn't
>be better for users in these situations to turn the author's style
>sheet off.

I've never understood why the background property 
doesn't inherit. I'm sure there must be a reason, but 
I really can't think of any.

>However, I suppose that the awkwardness of an undesired highlighting
>effect would be better than having users stare at a document with
>unreadable links.


>Liam Quinn liam@htmlhelp.com http://www.htmlhelp.com/%7Eliam/

And while we're on the subject of colors, I think it should 
be a law (punishable using death by <blink>) that any 
"enhancement" to HTML that changes a foreground color should 
also allow for the specification of a background color, and 
vice versa.  I'm thinking specifically of BGCOLOR in table 
cells, and COLOR in <FONT>. I don't want to use a Bgcolor 
that contrasts too much with the body color because otherwise, 
I'll have to use <FONT COLOR=""> for the text inside the 
table. But there are some browsers that understand 
<FONT COLOR=""> yet don't honor the BGCOLOR attribute in 

And I won't even get into the problem of users 
selecting "always use my colors" and yet the browser uses 
the colors specified in <TD BGCOLOR> and <FONT COLOR>.

Granted, these attributes should be specified using style 
sheets anyway, so perhaps the problem will just go away. 
But even in stylesheet land there is a problem with background 
colors in <link>'ed stylesheets. (Fixed in the Mac verion 
of IE, thankfully.)

C  h a r l e s    P e y t o n   T a y l o r         ctaylor@nps.navy.mil
The opinions and views expressed are my own and do not reflect those of 
the Naval PostGraduate School 

                       "Dreams are like water, colorless, and dangerous"

Received on Tuesday, 28 January 1997 13:24:10 UTC

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