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

From: <kynn@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Thu, 30 May 2002 12:42:31 -0700 (PDT)
Message-Id: <200205301942.MAA04138@garth.idyllmtn.com>
To: tantek@cs.stanford.edu (Tantek Çelik)
Cc: Jon.Ferraiolo@adobe.com (Jon Ferraiolo), DPawson@rnib.org.uk, steven.pemberton@cwi.nl, www-style@w3.org, www-svg@w3.org

Tantek wrote:
> 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'm not crazy about them. I'd rather see a better way of extending color
choices come into use, even if that means dumping HTML4 color names. They
aren't particularly useful, in my opinion. For example, I'd rather see a
way of defining colors that incorporates some of the accessibility concepts
of CSS2 system colors (as noted below) but within a more general framework
that also includes X11 colors and HTML4 colors.

For example, a way for authors and users to redefine keywords which may
or may not be defined to specific color names. If I have red-green
colorblindess, for example, I could be able to apply a user style sheet
that redefines the keyword "red" to something which is more useful to 
me. Similarly, it would be helpful if within-the-spec color value
redefinitions or transformations could be defined -- so that I could
convert "#990000" to something which I could sense. Why do we need this
in the spec? Simple, because unless there's a standardized way to indicate
this and implement this, it won't be done by user agent developers. And
users with special needs will continue to be left out.

What I'm calling for here sounds a lot like "we have to do an amazing 
amount of work to make this happen" and not very much like "these are my
last call comments." And I understand that. However, we will need to live
with CSS3 colors for quite a while, and so I would rather say "send it
back and start over from scratch" than say "push it through and forget
about the issue for another 6 years" as that's been the historical case
as well.

>  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.

Well, CSS2 system colors, like many other accessibility considerations,
fall into the "good concept, terrible spec, worthless implementation"
category wherein they're never used. (C.f. LONGDESC, ACCESSKEY, etc.)

The concept should be preserved. The spec (and therefore the implemenations)
should be trashed and replaced with something else, which works.

Received on Thursday, 30 May 2002 15:39:14 UTC

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