Sent by David Leader on 15 November 2003 22:10
>HEX COLORS: is #fff better than #ffffff ?
No,it's worse. It is a special-case abbreviation that saves someone
three keystrokes to produce code that is harder for someone else to
maintain because, as in your case, they don't understand it. The
designers of css clearly included the worst kind of brilliant unix/C
programmers who delight in producing clever compact code that
unfortunately nobody else can understand. That is probably why they
were working for free on css as nobody in business could afford the
consequences of employing them.
He also wrote:
> In two of the books I'm researching the authors call for
> "RGB" designations. It would seem this would give better
> reliability across platforms and monitors.
This is nonsense. Hexcolours are equivalent to RGB colours, but are
expressed to a different mathematical base. Because of this the css
coding is different, but the values of the colours that can be
obtained is the same. RGB colours, which Photoshop users would be
familiar with, have 256 possible red, green, and blue values,
expressed on the familiar decimal scale from 0 to 255 (computer
scientists start numbering at 0). Thus the colour black is 0,0,0 and
the colour white is 255,255,255. (Red is 255,0,0 etc) The
hexadecimal scale is base 16, so as well as the ten digits 0-9 it
employs six additional digits a-f. It is used because 256 is 16x16x16
and so each rgb colour only needs six characters to represent it.
000000 (= 00,00,00) is black and ffffff (= ff, ff, ff) is white (red
is ff0000 etc).
So if you use the full hex description there is a chance that you
might think about what it means.
He also wrote:
>Will using the RGB style tag render these colors more
>faithfully across platforms and monitors?
No. Nothing will currently render colours faithfully across platforms
Different monitors are set/calibrated differently or have different
properties, so render colours differently. Also the Mac and PC have
different colour gamma settings so something that looks fine on my
Mac looks too dark on a PC monitor. At one time you also had to take
into consideration how many colours a monitor could display (hence
the so-called, but not-in-fact, colour-safe palette, that these hex
triplets were probably coined to represent for 8-bit displays), but
advances in screen displays mean that this is no longer a real issue.
I imagine, that as hexcolours were used initially in html when the
font tag was invented, there may be browsers that do not support the
RGB notation, but whether this is so , and whether it is true for
css, I have no idea.
However these concerns are not particularly specific to this list,
and there are many sites on the web which are dedicated to colour
representation. Adbobe used to have excellent material on this sort
of thing. Use your Google skills.
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