[thelist] is the web-safe palette dead?

MRC webmaster at equilon-mrc.com
Tue Mar 26 10:36:01 CST 2002


> I'm interested in other people's views on this, and on the proposed "web
> smart" palette. To pre-empt any questions on this, this palette was
> on entirely psychological grounds and is not intended to exactly match
> whatever colors might be on some 16-bit display.

    I'm one of those design-challenged developers who can recognize when
colors look good together, but have a hard time making them look good
together on my own. That is one reason why I find the 216-color palette
helpful -- it limits my options to just a handful of colors that would
reasonably look good together. But I agree that the "web-safe" palette is
extremely limiting, and that more is better in this respect.
    One thing that I've long found very curious -- and which I see you
mention in your article [1] on macedition.com -- is that the named-color
palette [2] contains virtually no web-safe colors. More interesting,
perhaps, is that only eight of the colors in the 16-color named-color
palette [3] codified by the W3C in the HTML 4.x recommendation are web-safe.
Even the ubiquitous "Netscape gray" (#c0c0c0) is non-web-safe.
    It would seem that the web-safe palette has never been considered a must
by the browser-makers and the standards community, and that your proposal is
at least as sound as any of their offerings -- and a fair sight prettier,
too! :)

James Aylard

1. http://www.macedition.com/cb/cb_20010219.shtml
2. http://www.w3.org/TR/css3-color/#x11-color
3. http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/types.html#h-6.5

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