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

From: Tantek Çelik <tantek@cs.stanford.edu>
Date: Thu, 30 May 2002 11:29:23 -0700
To: Jon Ferraiolo <Jon.Ferraiolo@adobe.com>, DPawson@rnib.org.uk, steven.pemberton@cwi.nl, www-style@w3.org
Cc: www-svg@w3.org
Message-id: <B91BBD93.DA60%tantek@cs.stanford.edu>


I think your post provides an excellent summary of the top level issues and
suggestions for reaching closure.


On 5/30/02 7:42 AM, "Jon Ferraiolo" <Jon.Ferraiolo@adobe.com> wrote:

> Speaking as one of the SVG guys, it would be OK with me to make changes in
> the area of color keywords. The X11 color keywords are indeed much less
> useful than they could be. If changes are made, however, here are some
> things I'd like to see:
> 1) Any new color keywords which are defined must have different names than
> any of the color keywords in the SVG 1.0 spec. This will allow implementers
> such as Adobe to just add new keywords to an existing table and will allow
> existing web content to still work.

Agreed.  We should not redefine "orange" for example.

> 2) All existing color keywords in the SVG spec would continue to be
> documented forever, perhaps as "deprecated"

Deprecation may be the closest we can get to an acceptable compromise for
all those that have given feedback.

> and perhaps only required
> within full implementations of SVG,

I don't think that is possible since CSS is XML namespace agnostic.

E.g. if an implementation supported XHTML+SVG+CSS, it makes no sense to
require the implementation to parse CSS differently for SVG elements vs.
XHTML elements.  In fact, there are some fairly simple examples which
demonstrate this, e.g. this rule in a style sheet for an XHTML+SVG document:

 circle,li { color:orange }

> but again we need to ensure that
> existing web content will still work into the future.


> It would also be OK with me if we deprecated all color keywords from all
> specs (I'm very flexible).

That would be ok with me as well, but
 I haven't seen anyone asking for the deprecation of the HTML4 color names,
so there is no need to do so.
 I have seen one statement asking for the deprecation of CSS2 System Colors,
and that would be ok with me if there was a better reason provided (Chris
Lilley's "Where's the 'because'?" requirement), or if there was a more
general response to do so.

> This one topic is something for which everyone will have an opinion and
> might set records in terms of number of emails sent and number of people
> participating in the thread, all about something that really isn't
> advancing technology very much.


> The internationalization folks might chime
> in, for example, calling for keyword names for languages other than English.

There are i18n experts on www-style, and it is interesting that they haven't
chimed in.  So far I've only seen "armchair quarterback" non-expert i18n
responses (unless I missed something from Martin, Michel etc.) - which
doesn't mean that they are necessarily invalid responses, just that when the
experts aren't the ones complaining it makes you wonder if the complaints
have any real merit.

And then there is of course the fact that W3C specs tend to use English
keywords in general as Chris Lilley pointed out.

> So, it might be good to look at strategies that are most likely bring
> discussion to a close as quickly as possible, such as "just accept what SVG
> 1.0 did" or "deprecate all color keywords everywhere".


Here is a concrete proposal:

Deprecate the X11 color names in CSS3 Color and SVG 1.1.*
Keep the HTML4 color names.
Keep the CSS2 system colors.**

> Defining new color
> keywords seems likely to produce the longest possible discussion.

Agreed.  And, as I've noted, not only are the proposals for new color
keywords not fully defined / thought out / demonstrated (e.g. color gamut
distribution/coverage undefined as pointed out by Chris Lilley), but there
are clients of CSS3 Color that are waiting for it to become a CR, and a few
folks asking for new color names are an insufficient reason to delay.

I propose that those with new color name proposals go back and read all the
criticisms offered by Chris Lilley and Steven Pemberton on color naming
schemes in general, and make sure your proposal addresses all their
questions.  Post your proposal on a website and send the URL to www-style
NOW so that we can discuss it in the working group(s) and possibly include
it in the next version of CSS3 color.



* Personally I want to keep "orange" if we can make exceptions.  Perhaps we
let folks nominate specific X11 colors (maybe just one per person ;-) NOT to
deprecate, and if there are no objections we keep those few colors?

** If there is sufficient feedback (both # of people and actual reasons
rather than they smell funny), I would be fine with changing this to
"Deprecate the CSS2 system colors in CSS3 Color and SVG 1.1".
Received on Thursday, 30 May 2002 14:24:46 UTC

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