Re: color: NCSA Mosaic, Netscape, and HTML3

Mike Batchelor (
Tue, 18 Jul 1995 10:16:11 -0400 (EDT) once wrote...
> < Jack Beslanwitch once wrote...
> < >
> < > Mike,
> < > I could be wrong about this, but I seem to remember that the body
> < > background elements including the text colors elements implemented in
> < > Netscape are in the html 3.0 dtd or at least one of them that I read. The
> < > main elements that are clearly not in the dtd are blink and embed. Again, I
> < > could be wrong on this, but I believe this to be so.
> <
> < I just checked the DTD again, and the only BODY attribute is background,
> < which indicates a URI for a texture tile for the document background. No
> < text colors, link colors, vlink colors, etc. Yet the NCSA WinMosaic pages
> < say they all are part of HTML v3.
> Yes. Infact, the english spec (rather than the DTD) states that text colors
> *MAY* need to be adjusted, but earlier on it says that background is only
> for the benefit of clients that do not support style sheets.
> I.e. Style sheets are the right way.
> Netscape color extensions (like many other netscape extensions) are hot air
> and presumptiously defined.
> Unfortunately, style sheets are still being defined :)

There's nothing to prevent a vendor from inplementing their own style
sheet format, documenting it poorly, whatever they want. It won't
interfere with the HTML part of the document, and they can do it right now
with the blessing of the W3 Org, the robot maintainers, and everybody else
on the Web. I just got the source to viola, and though I am having a
problem getting it to compile on Linux, the docs included a basic style
sheet specification, and a Style lib some other app could use. Of course,
it would be nice if vendors would use a unique <LINK REL=> identifier so
that authors who are inclined to do so, may reference a style sheet for
every known implementation on the planet. :)

> For everybodies entertainment, I include the background definition text:
> (url:
> BACKGROUND This can be used to specify a URI for an image tile to cover the
> document background. This provides a way of giving a group of documents
> a distinctive appearance. Clients may ignore this attribute. It is
> included here for the benefits of clients that don't support style sheets.
> Note that the text color may need to be adjusted to show an adequate
> contrast with the background.

I really think that <body background="tile.gif"> should be changed to
<body src="tile.gif"> to be consistent with the rest of the image
attributes. Or perhaps <body> can have classes, then a site-wide style
sheet can look like:

body.index: back.image = tile1.gif
body.toc: back.image = tile2.gif
body.advert: back.image = garish.gif

I suppose I should dash off a note to the WinMosaic address and refer them
to the DTD and ask them to remove the mis-information about their Netscape

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