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Has there been any updates to the old 256 browser safe colors as of late? Also, do these standards apply to color in HTML -- or colors used both in HTML and images (gif & jpg) that appear on the internet. If anyone has any info, or can point me toward some good reference sites on this topic, that'd be most excellent!
pop in that hex value into my background in HTML.
On older computers, that method can cause some ugly surprises, as I've painfully discovered.
As I understand it, browsers tap one rendering method for colors stated in hex and a different method for the colors used in rendering image files. Colors dictated with hexadecimal values use the operating system itself, and this is where the problematic color shifts arise on older equipment.
It happens especially when the hex value you declare isn't part of the palette at the visitor's chosen color depth.
You may not easily run across this problem in your normal rounds, but when you do, it's very upsetting. That's why I use both a bgcolor and a tiled GIF.
Thank you! That's exactly the problem I always try to explain on this topic, but I could never quite get my head around where the actual rendering difference was cropping up. :) That's why I always recommend against using a design that relies on an exact color match between the image edges and page background (unless you use a gif background generated by the same image editing software, as recommended).
However, let me play devils advocate here and ask the following quesions (just to make it more interesting).
Do we really care about the minute amount of people this affects? The computers affected by this problem were most likely built in 1996. How many people do you know that still use computers that old? ...and if they do use them don't you think they expect the internet to look crappy?
There's a % of visitors cut-off point below which I don't really care, and 256-color design is getting really near that point for me... but I find it so easy to avoid designing a site that must match precisely, I haven't had to even consider the issue in years. (Last time it really came up for me was 1999... when a company I was applying for a job with still used a lot of 256 color machines, and even a few 640x480 monitors.)
(Last time it really came up for me was 1999... when a company I was applying for a job with still used a lot of 256 color machines, and even a few 640-480 monitors.)
..I'm still getting my head around the fact that so many people out there are still using 800x600 res on their monitors. My older brother does, and when I visit him and start tinkering around on his computer, I just have to chuckle. Man, those are some BIG icons.. :)
I think it depends on who you ask. If you asked any of the backwards compatibility experts or hi-lo contrast palette people what THEY believe, they may still chastise us footless & fancy free design-types for our lack of consideration.
And they can take a number right behind the angry mob telling me I need to go straight CSS, need to be more accommodating of those with disabilities, be bi-lingual, and all the other guilt trips I, as a graphics person and web developer, take to bed every night.
Accordingly, I've embraced the idealogy that the web SHOULD be more accessible and I SHOULD try to eliminate tables (well... as much as I can without making an easy job turn into the Sisteen Chapel)... and I carry those bricks on my back every day trying to become a better person and a better web developer.
But nope - I ain't gonna carry the bricks of a 256 color palette on my back no more. There has to be something I still enjoy about this job - and that's glorious, living color. I gladly concede to the other necessities of the ever-evolving web - but being pigeonholed into 216 or 256 colors until the very last antiquated system hits the junkpile (whenever that may be) is just a little too much for me.
Look at this site: all three of them, dark blue, light blue and white by default.
White is no problem on any system, but if you chnge your system to 256 colours you may see a problem. The colours 'interpolate' (use several colours together to give the effect of a single colour that is not on the system). This can be effective but not when you put text over it. Sometimes by changing your colours by small fractions (only takes a few minutes with CSS), these can be virtually eliminated without changing your colour very much at all. Your text can then be read.
Of course, this can be system specific, but it is worth doing for Windows unless your site targets Mac users and then it should obviously be done specifically for Macs.
On your comments about not supporting those with older computers, some people have to. For example, if you sell computers, most of your sales are going to come from people with older computers, less capability and older browsers.