Thursday, 9 February 2006

A rose by any other name would still be hex value

This was prompted by fjl's comment (two different links close together there!) which made me think about colours. It's also a break from reading "Using Constructivism in Technology-Mediated Learning: Constructing Order out of the Chaos in the Literature".

Those who haven't looked under the bonnet of web pages and HTML might be surprised to know that in amongst the gobblydegook there is some very poetic stuff. In the beginning there were 16 "web safe" colours available and they could be invoked using their hexidecimal code or by name. Thus "white" is #ffffff where each pair of characters is a hex value and indicates the amount of a colour to add to the mix. The pairs denote red, green and blue so white is made up of 255 parts red, 255 parts green and 255 parts blue, "ff" is hexidecimal (base-16) for 255 and, as all artists know, white is all the colours in the visible spectrum. Black is the absence of light and thus is #000000. But this is where we take a sharp left. The idea that we can use names as well as the hex value means that good old #fffacd is also known as lemonchiffon (add the space yourself, the browser interpreting the code would choke on it so we concatenate the words). The background to this page is aliceblue but I might have chosen palegoldenrod or papaya or thistle or bisque - all are valid names for colours that the browser will support. If I add a horizontal line the colour I use is steelblue and when constructing web pages for others I'll use ghostwhite or whitesmoke as a background rather than using pure white.

Some years ago I put together a web page showing just some of the available colours with their hex values and their name - I picked the ones with the best names. The page is still available here and serves to show that techies are not as hardbaked as people would like to believe.

Thanks for inspiration Fiona.

9 careful considerations:

Bluefluff said...

Thank you for sharing your paintbox :-)

Nogbad said...

I just love some of the names and when I write pages that use them I feel as thoigh I'm painting

fjl said...

Felicity!! Though I sign Fi.

Nogbad said...

I apologise unreservedly! See? At my age my memory is so bloody bad I can't remember a single word when swapping between two web pages :-(

No idea what'll happen when I am even older - I'll probably forget to dribble.

I only have credit cards so that I know my own name, some days I think I'm called Visa Mastercard until the postman delivers something with my other name on it :-)

chiquita said...

Thanks for this link, Nogbad! By the way, this reminds me that I just found another new colour site, which is very interesting if you are looking for special codes, based on one main colour.

Echo Mouse said...

Cool page :) I found a similar page a few years ago when I was all into learning HTML.

The names for colours...they'd make good nail polish colour names too I think. ;)

kat said...

Thanks for that Chiquita.

If we are collecting good links, take a look at this colour scheme generator -

chiquita said...

I like your page, too, kat! Ah. Those colours are exciting toys, aren't they?

Nogbad said...

Sheesh! Ya mention colours and it goes all "girly" :-))))

I agree - the colorwhore site is great but doesn't do the names! The Color scheme generator looks cool too and certainly something I need when getting dressed.

Do you think we should start the "M&N Nailvarnish Co" Mouse? :-)