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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 14:19:34 -0700
To: kynn@idyllmtn.com
Cc: Jon Ferraiolo <Jon.Ferraiolo@adobe.com>, DPawson@rnib.org.uk, steven.pemberton@cwi.nl, www-style@w3.org, www-svg@w3.org
Message-id: <B91BE576.DA84%tantek@cs.stanford.edu>

On 5/30/02 12:42 PM, "kynn@idyllmtn.com" <kynn@idyllmtn.com> wrote:

> 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.

But it sounds like you don't object to them.

> I'd rather see a better way of extending color
> choices come into use, even if that means dumping HTML4 color names.

See my previous post.

"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."

I'm encouraging folks to develop and propose alternatives for extending
color choices etc.  However, that is very detached from the here and now of
last call for CSS3 colors.

We should not drop something that works now for the alternative of a future
concept of something that might be better someday.

> They
> aren't particularly useful, in my opinion.

You're entitled to your opinion.

However, note the numerous pages on the web which make use of the 16 named
colors.  They are used in the CSS1 Test Suite.  Thousands of authors have
found them useful. 

> 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.

Please propose one.  But a vague request for new way of defining colors is
insufficient to object to what is in CSS3 color nor to delay the spec.


> 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,

I think you've missed the point.  We _have_been_ living with X11 colors for
quite a while - 7 years now?  The verb tense you use is incorrect.  CSS3
only acknowledges their existence.

> and so I would rather say "send it
> back and start over from scratch"

Send what back?  All of CSS3 color?

Do you propose to send all of SVG back as well?

> than say "push it through

I repeat this only because it seems all too quickly forgotten in this

"it" [the x11 colors] has already been pushed through - in implementations
for over seven years, and in SVG 1.0 as a specification.

CSS3 is not pushing anything through in terms of X11 colors - only
acknowledging what has already been "pushed through" as you put it.

> and forget
> about the issue for another 6 years" as that's been the historical case
> as well.

Those who think things are fine or acceptable of course forget about the
issue because they don't think there is an issue.

Those who think there is an issue should be putting in the time and effort
to come up with proper alternate proposals (as noted above).  Complaining is
fine, but complaints with a lack of follow through will fall on deaf ears.

If you don't want the issue forgotten about it - work on and publish

>>  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.)

I apologize for sounding rude, but this sounds like you are fairly new to
the web and web technologies, and are fairly unaware of many uses of them.

I know of numerous actual, shipping, useful usages of the CSS2 system
colors.  You yourself have most likely used an interface built with
HTML+CSS2 and never known precisely due to the fact that the CSS2 system
colors worked as intended.

ACCESSKEY is widely supported for many years by many browsers.  Again it is
used in user interfaces - again perhaps without your knowledge of its use
behind the scenes.

For that matter, I see LONGDESC on pages often enough, and I know of at
least one browser that provides a user interface for accessing it (iCab).

And finally, your criticisms:

 >"good concept, terrible spec, worthless implementation"

are still failing the Chris Lilley "Where's the 'because'?" test, or

 > category wherein they're never used.

are simply false.

Received on Thursday, 30 May 2002 18:41:15 UTC

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