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Re: CSS 3 color module and deprecation of "system" colors

From: Andrew Fedoniouk <news@terrainformatica.com>
Date: Mon, 12 May 2008 20:48:01 -0700
Message-ID: <48290F71.7000701@terrainformatica.com>
To: "Patrick H. Lauke" <redux@splintered.co.uk>, Matthew Raymond <mattraymond@earthlink.net>, www-style@w3.org

L. David Baron wrote:
> On Saturday 2005-09-03 15:42 +0100, Patrick H. Lauke wrote [archived
> at http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-style/2005Sep/0010.html ]:
>> Apologies for cross posting, but: could anybody shed some light as to
>> why system colors have been deprecated in the CSS 3 color module?
>>
>> http://www.w3.org/TR/2003/CR-css3-color-20030514/#css-system
>>
>> In my recent testing on Windows browsers, I found them to be fairly well
>> supported and would posit that they can have quite a valuable role to
>> play in creating accessible style sheets that match the user's set
>> colour scheme / preferences (e.g. if a user has set their Windows
>> environment to High Contrast, a web page can be styled to follow that
>> preference).
> 
> On Saturday 2005-09-03 21:05 -0400, Matthew Raymond wrote [in
> response to the message above, archived at
> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-style/2005Sep/0011.html ]:
>>    I have to wonder about this myself. Just because you want to use a
>> specific system color doesn't mean you want a specific "appearance". It
>> may be that you're using DHTML to create a custom widget, in which case
>> the widget would use the system colors without necessarily looking like
>> any specific system control.
> 
> This has been recorded as
> http://csswg.inkedblade.net/spec/css3-color#issue-16 .
> 
> I believe the primary reason for their deprecation is that colors
> are not sufficient to represent the appearance of many system
> controls, which use gradients, more complex shading, varying border
> styles, etc.  See also
> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-style/2005Sep/0019.html and
> the responses to comments 11, 14, and 15 in
> http://www.w3.org/Style/2003/css3-color-comments.html .
> 
> The group discussed this issue briefly at our face-to-face meeting
> in San Diego and decided to let the previous decision to deprecate
> the system colors stand; thus the editors draft at
> http://dev.w3.org/csswg/css3-color/#css2-system is unchanged in this
> regard.

In this case rendering of input elements using system shapes
shall also be disabled and all input elements has to be
styleable in full.

System colors are used when authors are designing custom input
elements and would like to respect user choice/preferences of system colors.

I propose to 1) keep system colors (at least basic set) and
2) to allow to use system shapes as images with special system-theme: 
protocol:

button { background-image: url(system-theme:button-normal); }

Here is an example of rendering of such images:
http://www.terrainformatica.com/htmlayout/images/themesupport.jpg

It is highly desirable that input (active) elements be visually
recognizeable. System colors and shapes also allow to better follow 
Section 508 if this matters.

> 
> If you are not satisfied with this response, please let us know
> within two weeks, if possible.
> 
> -David
> 

-- 
Andrew Fedoniouk.

http://terrainformatica.com
Received on Tuesday, 13 May 2008 03:48:30 GMT

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