W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > January 2011

Re: [CSS3] support for linear-gradients & radial-gradients

From: Alan Gresley <alan@css-class.com>
Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2011 20:39:35 +1100
Message-ID: <4D2EC857.6020300@css-class.com>
To: "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com>
CC: Simon Fraser <smfr@me.com>, Peter Beverloo <peter@lvp-media.com>, Irfan Mir <theirf@gmail.com>, www-style@w3.org
On 13/01/2011 4:26 AM, Tab Atkins Jr. wrote:
> On Wed, Jan 12, 2011 at 7:19 AM, Alan Gresley<alan@css-class.com>  wrote:
>> Why does this have to be a bug? The current behavior as seen in Gecko and
>> WebKit is what one should expect from<color>  to transparent. I have seen it
>> said that this notation rgba(0,0,0,0) is transparent. This notation
>> rgba(255,255,255,0) is also transparent. The later is the type of
>> transparent that both Gecko and WebKit want to change to. Why?
> I don't understand what you are trying to say or ask here.

Simply that the keyword 'transparent' should not be confused with alpha 
transparency. As it says in CSS-Color [1] for the keyword 'transparent'.

   | transparent
   |   Fully transparent. This keyword can be considered a shorthand for
   |   transparent black, rgba(0,0,0,0), which is its computed value.

So 'transparent black' is not the same as 'transparent' but the keyword 
'transparent' can be considered a shorthand for transparent black. 
CSS2.1 is more explicit in suggesting that 'transparent' is not a 
<color>. In 14.2.1 [2] for background-color we have this (emphasis added).

   | This property sets the background color of an element, either a
   | <color> value *or* the keyword 'transparent', to make the underlying
   | colors shine through.

>> A transparent color does not have a point so it can not exist in any
>> colorspace. It does not exist as a color apart from some concept which is
>> very ambivalent.
> No, transparent colors exist perfectly fine.

I should have said that the keyword value "transparent' is not a <color> 
and it does not have any point in any colorspace where all values of 
<color> do have a points within colorspace. You use this term 
"transparent colors." Should that really be colors with alpha transparency?

>> As gradients are currently implemented by Gecko and WebKit, there are only 4
>> gradients that run in a direct line through sRGB colorspace. They are White
>> to Black, Aqua to Red, Fuchsia to Lime and Yellow to Blue. The rest of the
>> gradients from opaque<color>  to opaque<color>  either run through sRGB
>> colorspace as cubic Bézier curve or quartic Bézier curve. If gradients
>> become interpolated in premultiplied space then any gradient from<color>  to
>> transparent would run in a direct line in through sRGB colorspace.
> No, all opaque colors are interpolated along a straight line in sRGB
> space.  It doesn't matter whether you're using premultiplied colors or
> not, as both color-spaces treat opaque colors the same.

I made a completely wrong statement. Gradients from <color> point to 
<color> are interpolated along a straight line in sRGB if they follow 
particular planes within sRGB. I reason that some gradients, may travel 
a direct line and miss precise <color> points, in which case they use 
the color of the nearest <color> point (maybe rare in SRGB which has 
16581376 colors). Is this a fare statement to make?

>> I don't understand why the CSS WG or implementers would want a CSS gradient
>> to behave differently from a SVG gradient. A SVG gradient from<color>  to
>> transparent is the same as the current Gecko and WebKit implemented CSS
>> gradient which is interpolation in un-premultiplied space.
> SVG gradients don't use RGBA colors - they have RGB colors and then,
> separately, an opacity.  Implementations allow the SVG colors to be
> rgba, though, and when that occurs they want to do interpolation in
> premultiplied space, same as CSS.

Can you please clarify something, so I can fully understand? Theses 
questions are pertaining to CSS gradients.

1. Is a gradient from blue (#0f0) to yellow (#ff0) (midway way point is 
#7f7f7f) interpolated in premultiplied space or un-premultiplied space?

2. Is a gradient from bluish rgba(0,255,0,0.5) to yellowish 
rgba(255,255,0,0.5) (midway way point is rgba(127,127,127,0.5)) 
interpolated in premultiplied space or un-premultiplied space?

>> Another issue is how gradients from<color>  to transparent on a dark
>> background become dirty. This is seen in this test.
>> <http://css-class.com/test/css/colors/color-layer-above-below.htm>
>> Example 5 is a SVG. Example 9, 10 and 11 are what gradients from<color>  to
>> transparent would look like if interpolated in un-premultiplied space. At
>> the bottom of the viewport is some buttons to change the background color.
>> Underneath the test are various screenshots.
>> <http://css-class.com/test/css/colors/gradient-test1.htm>
>> The second example for "yellow - transparent" shows yellow polluting the
>> background. The beginnings of the gradient don't fall of quick enough in
>> intensity and hides the backgrounds in some examples.
> What you're seeing is the fact that transitions from opaque colors to
> transparent in non-premultiplied space get darker as they progress.

This is not true for all colors. I think you use the word darker loosely 
here. A gradient from blue to transparent (on a white background) get 
gradually lighter along the full projectory of the gradient. At the same 
time the same gradient get gradually lest saturated along the full 
projectory of the gradient. The only thing constant is it's hue.

> Try doing a transition from opaque white to transparent over a white
> background, and you'll see it very clearly - you'll get an image that
> starts white, darkens to gray, and then lightens to white again.
> ~TJ

Well this is a good example. The same thing happens in SVG.


If this exist in SVG gradients, why can't we keep the current behavior 
with Gecko and WebKit in CSS gradients?

I would really like to see both types of gradients (<color> to 
transparent) with non-premultiplied and premultiplied interpolation in CSS.

A question for those who know SVG. It it possible to create a SVG 
gradient from <color> to transparent with premultiplied interpolation? 
Something like this.


1. <http://dev.w3.org/csswg/css3-color/#transparent>
2. <http://www.w3.org/TR/CSS21/colors.html#background-properties>

Alan http://css-class.com/

Armies Cannot Stop An Idea Whose Time Has Come. - Victor Hugo
Received on Thursday, 13 January 2011 09:41:12 UTC

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