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RE: [css-color-4] Renaming gray()

From: François REMY <francois.remy.dev@outlook.com>
Date: Sun, 27 Jul 2014 18:18:05 +0200
Message-ID: <DUB130-W47DAE302A97ECDEDA03B33A5FA0@phx.gbl>
To: Brad Kemper <brad.kemper@gmail.com>, Jan Tosovsky <j.tosovsky@email.cz>
CC: www-style list <www-style@w3.org>
>> On 2014-07-23 Lea Verou wrote:
>> The gray() functional 
notation [1] is a great idea for specifying
>> desaturated colors with 
varying degrees of transparency in a concise
>> and
readable way. However, I’m not sure about the naming. Right now, the
named color `gray` corresponds to gray(50%). gray(0%) is black and
gray(100%) is white.
> I prefer black() to gray(), so it is a 
percentage of how black it is. This
> jives with my experience in the 
print industry, where, while working
> with one-color spot printing, 
specifying a shade of the color (most
> often of black), we did not gave 
under color removal or grayscale
> replacement to deal with. It was just a 
line screen representing a
> percentage of how dark (how solid, really, 
since you could print in
> some other spot color like yellow once you put 
it on the press) it
> should be. You had to deal with dot gain that 
depended on what
> kind of paper you printed on, but I don't think that's 
relevant here.
> My point is that black() should not be treated 
the same as the K in
> CMYK after a non-naive conversion from RGB. 
Black(100%) should
> be treated the same as rgb(0,0,0).

If I can 
add my two cents to this discussion, I would avoid "black(x%)" 
there's no reason why "black(0%)" should be white, actually. When 
you're in 
print, it is the default color of the paper, which may or may not 
be white. 
The analogy is even worse for our OLED devices where the default 
state is to 
be black, and white is only an action of the simultaneous 
lighting of a red, 
a green and a blue light. In this case, "black(0%)" 
doesn't mean 

I'm not a huge fan of "white(x%)" but at least, if you consider 
a light, it 
is obvious that if you set your light to 0% you'll get a totally 
environment, and therefore a black. That, and we're pretty often 
that "our clothes are grayish, but if we had used 
we would have got a pure white" so the 
concept of less-white-than-white 
should be widely preceived as intuitive. 
However, I recognize that this is 
just yet another subjective point of 

As a result, I think we should probably answer two 
questions here:

1) do we really need this shorthand ?
2) if we do, how 
can we make this shorthand objective and obvious?

If there is a concensus 
that the answer to (1) is yes, then I believe I 
would cast my vote for Lea's 
proposal to make this "rgb(0%) -> rgb(100%)" 
because it's totally 
objective, easy to spec, and everyone can understand 
this if you understand 
CSS Colors to begin with. Also, if you have to change 
it at a later point to 
a color that isn't quite gray (because the designer 
thinks it would be 
better) then you don't have to change the function 

Received on Sunday, 27 July 2014 16:18:34 UTC

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