Re: Color - HTML

Sarr Blumson (
Wed, 25 Jan 1995 20:19:43 +0100

In message <>Richard L.
Goerwitz wrote:
>>I would like to know if is possible to have more color (no only blue)
>>in the text in a page, that was written in HTML.
>There is a constant battle between people who want HTML to remain true
>to the SGML "idea" and those that want to turn it into a variant of X
>and/or TeX. To specify colors is contrary to the spirit of HTML as a
>kind of SGML. The idea is that if we let people get down to minute
>rendering details with HTML, it will no longer be a one-size-for-all
>system, and it will no longer be easy to write and manipulate.

I haven't had this tantrum in public for a while, so this seems like a
good time. :=).

This isn't just about purity and aesthetics, and it isn't simply about
simplicity. HTML lets the author specify that she wants EMPHASIS, and
the viewer decide how emphasis should be represented. If we let the
author decide that emphasis should be shown by using red characters
then people who can't see red, because their terminals can't display it
or their eyes can't see it, are lost.

Electronic presentation is a godsend to people with visual handicaps
exactly because they can manipulate how things are displayed in ways
that can compensate for their particular limitations. The more the
author/publisher controls the less chance we have of being able to do

We're in a cultural phase right now where publishers are overcome by
all the cute tricks their new tools will let them do, and are convinced
that absolute control is crucial to the aesthetics of their
publications. Thus our newsstands are filled with magazines like
"Wired" that I physically cannot read. Even the text, which seems to
always be in cute colors on cute backgrounds. The careful distinction
between structure and presentation is our defense.

Sarr Blumson
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