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

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.

Right.

> 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
directions.



-- 
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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