Re: [css3-color] transparency, opacity, translucency

On 25 February 2011 06:56, Brad Kemper <> wrote:

> I believe the word "transparency" is misused there. "Transparent" is
> defined in CSS Color as 'rgba(0,0,0,0)' and that fits with other English
> definitions too, in which transparent is at one end of the scale and opaque
> is at the other. The scale itself is one of translucency. "Translucent"
> usually means something between opaque (or completely opaque) and
> transparent (not opaque at all). Thus, I think the chapter should be renamed
> "Translucency: the ‘opacity’ property".

Actually, this isn't strictly true. The most dominant definition of
transparency conveys the meaning 'permitting the passage light so as to
allow objects to be completely visible'. So, you can have transparent blue
water, for example.

Translucency conveys the concept of diffusing light, so as to make objects
appear fuzzy. If there was a 'blur' property, which allowed things to shine
through but made them blurred and indistinct, this would would be


Mark Kenny
Twitter: @beingmrkenny

Received on Friday, 25 February 2011 09:52:05 UTC