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Re: X11 Colors (was Last call comments on CSS3 module: color)

From: Chris Lilley <chris@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 30 May 2002 12:32:55 +0200
Message-ID: <11577567171.20020530123255@w3.org>
To: www-style@w3.org, Kynn Bartlett <kynn@idyllmtn.com>
CC: "Steven Pemberton" <steven.pemberton@cwi.nl>, Tantek Çelik <tantek@cs.stanford.edu>, "HTML WG" <w3c-html-wg@w3.org>, "Andrew Clover" <and@doxdesk.com>

On Wednesday, May 29, 2002, 11:34:15 PM, Kynn wrote:

KB> At 10:34 PM +0200 5/29/02, Chris Lilley wrote:
>>Given that you are also proposing the (brain-dead, known flawed) HSV
>>system with its multitude of known problems in terms of usability you
>>are on rather shaky ground making thsese sorts of statements.

KB> The name of the game here is "two wrongs don't make a right."

Well, the name of the game was more "be consistent".

KB> If the intent is to build a better specification, then you can't
KB> really say "well THAT SUCKS TOO" when complaints are made --
KB> unless the goal is some sort of internal politics or ego thing.
KB> And we all know THAT never happens at the W3C.

Grin. No, my point was that several things are in the spec that are
added more for the traction they have gained in the community than for
their intellectual purity.

>>SP> Well, the need for named colours is clear.
>>No, not really. Anyone can make up their own names and declare them as
>>entities (in any XML document) and use them. For browsers that use a
>>real XML parser, of course. For external CSS files, people need to use
>>a preprocessor I guess.

KB> So this is an argument against named colors; okay, but that doesn't
KB> mean that _badly named_ colors are an acceptable choice either.

Given that one of the arguments was the internationalization one
(although that has not really come up before in terms of the rest of
the english-language-using CSS specifications) then all predefined
color names must be bad.

>>SP> I can name a dozen features of HTML that also fulfil all these properties,
>>SP> but that we are nevertheless ruthlessly consigning to the garbage can of
>>SP> history where they belong.
>>Cool. And for new formats starting with a clean slate, like XHTML 2,
>>that is exactly right.

KB> I may not be up on the correct charters. Why couldn't CSS 3 likewise
KB> eliminate poorly designed language features?

XHTML 2 has a different MIME (media) type to HTML 2, 3.2, 4.x and
XHTML 1.x. So it can be served separately and has no bugwards
compatible stuff to worry about.

No-one seems to be suggesting such a thing for CSS, which has had no
versioning information in the file and relies of forward compatible

>>  >> One intent of CSS3 Color is provide some harmonization between the color
>>  >> features in SVG and CSS.  The X11 colors are a part of that.
>>SP> And shouldn't be. Two messes do not make a clean design.
>>Ah, not only are X11 colors a mess but now, SVG is a mess too?

KB> Perhaps you should consider this as reading "two wrongs don't make
KB> a right", then.
That would be more charitable.

>>thats pretty rich coming from the HTML working group. How many
>>implementations pass the XHTML test suite? Oh, yes, there isn't one.
>>HTML is one large, smelly mess, and worse due to the design flaws in
>>XHTML 1.x that allowed content to be served to existing browsers as if
>>that would somehow work, it is spreading non well formed content that
>>purports to be XML. So please, get you own house in order before
>>accusing others of "mess".

KB> Uhm.  This is about the technical merits of the proposals and not about
KB> some sort of dick-waving, right?  We're not playing "mine is bigger
KB> than yours", right?  And we're not debating an XHTML 2 proposal now,
KB> right?

I assume that Steven is thinking about XHTML 2 and purity and how it
will use CSS3, yes, so this comparison is directly relevant and not,
as you term it, dick waving. Also, the weaker versioning provided by
the HTML doctypes did not prevent all of the HTML and XHTML 1.x types
having the sort of versioning and bugwards compatibility issues that
CSS 1, 2 and now 3 are having. Again, a directly relevant comparison.

And, yes, being accused of 'mess' did rankle given the object of the

KB> I'm not on the HTML working group, the CSS working group, or the SVG
KB> working group, and I agree with Steven.

A "because" would have been very helpful in that sentence.

KB> What is your plan for insulting -me- now -- telling me that WCAG
KB> 2.0 sucks?

If it does, I will be sure to let you know. Since you, unlike Steven,
do not seem to be asserting that SVG sucks or is a complete mess, I
naturally do not need to respond in like manner.

>>Moving onto technical topics - what better solution would you propose?

KB> Oh, good! Technical topics! Put that thing away now, and don't forget
KB> to zip up your pants!

Pity you did not yourself move on to technical topics but stopped
right there once you were done criticizing writing style.

So, what better solution would you propose?

 Chris                            mailto:chris@w3.org
Received on Thursday, 30 May 2002 06:33:47 UTC

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