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Re: website: background color in css

From: Arne Babenhauserheide
Subject: Re: website: background color in css
Date: Sun, 15 Nov 2009 23:17:59 +0100
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Am Sonntag, 15. November 2009 19:44:57 schrieb Michal Suchanek:
> They can offer alternate dark and bright themes.

But that requires setting all colors again. 

It makes it impossible for people to get into webdesign bit by bit - either 
you define all colors or you leave your hands off colorchanges. 

If you set the background, you also have to set all other colors, else the 
custom user color for a visited link could be invisible. 

> Yes, you cannot set just link color and expect it would work. 

Then HTML+CSS is broken, because it allows just that without supplying default 
colors which should be used whenever even a single custom color is set or 
defining a clear way to deal with conflicting colors (invisible/unreadable 

If there's a language which makes it the easiest to change just one detail, 
but which breaks when authors do just that, where's the bug: In the language 
(and implementation) which supplies that default or in the authors who use the 
language in the way in which it is most comfortable for 95% of the authors and 

(I'm pretty sure that 95% of the users don't use deep blue or red backgrounds, 
and very many pages don't supply a custom background color - including the 
general GNU pages which also have spaces where no background color is defined 
but the text color is defined as a grey). 

I generally try to change as little as possible to get the effect I want (do 
you know how a bright background color hurts late at night when you've been 
working with dark backgrounds for a few hours?)

> So you can either have completely colorless pages 

...and lose the wide range of options you have when you use colors for 
different parts of the text. Since people began using different colors for 
titles, the web looks far more friendly to me. 

> which are based on
> the user style or completely styled pages. Anything in between is
> broken.

Or seen from a different angle: browsers aren't built to handle efficient 
colorchanges (allow authors to set one color by only using the custom color if 
it mixes well with the other colors used for the site). 

In the beginning there was a standard colorscheme (white background, blue 
links, black text). At some point graphic browsers added custom stylesheets, 
so I as user could select to see pages with the colors I chose. 

There the style setting got jarred, because it misses a standard way to react 
to custom author colors which don't work with the custom user scheme. 

So I'd say, in this point you're wrong. If a user wants to use a color scheme 
which doesn't work with many sites, he can tell his browser to ignore the 
sites CSS colors. That shouldn't stop a site author from using a different text 
color which works with most backgrounds, though. 

He can also disable his styling temporarily. 

If you browse my sites with a red background, you're running into a problem, 
that's true. But on the other hand they look good with bright background and 
mostly good with dark background, and they keep their identity, though the 
background color changes. 

What's broken is that I can't say "as long as the background color is in the 
range xxxxxx-xxxxxx, use red for the text". 


But I just found that the reason why some pages look jarred to me is not that 
they define a text color and not a background-color, but that there's a long 
standing konqueror bug which makes konqueror ignore my text color setting and 
use black instead: 
- https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=47320

Morale of the story: It's good to sign bug reports with wishes, even when the 
wishes aren't easy ones, because one might find similar bug reports which give 
useful additional information :) 

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