Re: textured backgrounds

Murray Maloney (murray@sco.COM)
Wed, 18 Jan 95 11:39:20 EST

> On Tue, 17 Jan 1995, Eric Bina wrote:
> > Arena's paper textured background looks really cool.
> >
> > What do people think of an HTML tag in the HEAD that would specify
> > a background image to be used as a texture behind the current document?
> > Any interest in having a tag like this in HTML 2.X or 3.0?
> > I think it would be really cool.
> I do too. I thought I remembered seeing that exact thing in an early
> draft of HTML+ but maybe I was dreaming. A couple of comments:
> 1) I feel it should be in the <BODY>, as <HEAD> should be reserved for
> meta-information that applications might want to grab quickly using the
> HEAD method (like LINK relationships, title and author, etc.). I know
> you want it in the HEAD for speed reasons, since setting the color of the
> page has to be done before any rendering of text in most screen
> widgets, and redrawing the page when it hits this new tag would be
> inelegant - hmm.

As Joe English has already pointed out, <LINK REL=...> is a suitable
vehicle for this type of information.
> 2) If the background bitmap is really simple, like a single color or 4 dots
> 2x2, allow the use of binary or hex bits to designate the color so a separate
> fetch of a really small image isn't needed. I.e. <BACKGND
> pat="0x3e32a55f"> or something.

God forbid!
> 3) The big question will be, is this a structural object or an attribute
> better suited for style-sheets? I'd lean towards the former, as I think
> this is similar in function to <HR>. Perhaps it would be more in the
> SGML spirit if instead of a bitstring like I suggested above, more general
> names were given to the possible colors, and it was left up to the
> browser to render that color best.

Surely the background texture of information is not part of the
information's structure. Unless you are using it to layer information
on a structured background to communicate your message -- risky business.
On the other hand, I am not altogether happy leaving it entirely
to (implied) external style-sheets. There are some formatting hints
which should have a place in the HTML instance, and I agree with Eric
that this is a very good candidate. <LINK is an equally good candidate
to convey the hint to browsers.

> Brian
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