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Re: Style sheet misuse advice

From: Chris Lilley <Chris.Lilley@sophia.inria.fr>
Date: Tue, 28 Jan 1997 22:23:25 +0100 (MET)
Message-Id: <9701282223.ZM14093@grommit.inria.fr>
To: lee@sq.com, www-style@www10.w3.org
On Jan 28,  3:47pm, lee@sq.com wrote:

> Right now, I frequently have to select text in order to read it, because
> people use very dark backgrounds with black text.  So CSS is not necessarily
> making things worse here.


> Users can learn that if
> the override the background colour, they should also override all of
> the foreground colors, I think.

Um. Let us consider the rather common stylesheet:

body { background: #fff }

combined with the less common (but default on some platforms, such
as HP-UX) general color scheme for all windows of dark (blue, green, etc)
background and pale (white, cream) text. Similarly, of the 18 pre-defined
color schemes available on SGI workstations using the Indigo Magic desktop,
ten have pale writing on dark backgrounds.

Result - white on white.

Thus, illegibility is possibe without the user having done anything. Not
all browsers over-ride the platform or user defaults with black text on
mid-grey background. Hence:

> If you set any foreground text colour, it is certainly a good idea
> to make sure that you have also set the background colour.

Yes, there seems to be clear concensus on this as a style guideline.

> It is also
> a very good idea to consider users who have disabled the display of
> background images.

Which is why CSS allows both a color and an image as the background:

body { background: #123456 url(foo) }

The color is seen when the image is not available, or if there are
transparent portions in the image, or if the image is not tiled in both

Chris Lilley, W3C                          [ http://www.w3.org/ ]
Graphics and Fonts Guy            The World Wide Web Consortium
http://www.w3.org/people/chris/              INRIA,  Projet W3C
chris@w3.org                       2004 Rt des Lucioles / BP 93
+33 (0)4 93 65 79 87       06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France
Received on Tuesday, 28 January 1997 16:24:05 GMT

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