Enforce a colored-text rule - high contrast

This is a discussion on Enforce a colored-text rule - high contrast within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; Lately, it is almost impossible at times to read messages from the user quzah because the text has practically no ...

  1. #1
    Math wizard
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    Enforce a colored-text rule - high contrast

    Lately, it is almost impossible at times to read messages from the user quzah because the text has practically no contrast* to the background. Here's two screenshots that give 3 examples of this and just how hard it is to read:

    Screenshot #1 - the black text is easy to make out since the contrast is about 230 or so*, near the maximum possible. The light text is almost impossible to make out as the contrast is less than 10.
    Screenshot #2 - The top message here is okay for most of the text, but it's the light-colored text that is very hard to read. The bottom message is the opposite in that almost the entire message is unreadable due to low contrast.

    In addition, having the text changing colors very frequently just wastes a lot of space on the server as well. Instead of 1 byte per character, it's almost 25 bytes. The paragraph at the top of this message would use about 4500 bytes just to have the color-changing text. Without the color changing, about 180 bytes would be used instead.

    My suggestion would be to enforce a minimum contrast and/or limit the usage of the color UBBCode tag. I would suggest 64 at the very minimum, the difference between the colors BFBFBF and FFFFFF. I would prefer 96 as the suggested minimum, or the difference between 9F9F9F and FFFFFF. I've gone in great depth to finding a worthy contrast-determination formula and I could offer this (and an algorithm based in C) if needed.



    * Contrast is based on a comparison of shades of gray of the same apparent brightness. This graph plot gives a good idea on the apparent brightness of each color.

    Edit: Just as a side note, no offense is intended. I'm sure this affects everyone. Those with poor vision would really have a lot of problems reading the text which is why I'm strongly suggesting some sort of enforcement.
    Last edited by ulillillia; 05-04-2007 at 04:29 PM. Reason: No offense intended note added

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    Mayor of Awesometown Govtcheez's Avatar
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    Way to ruin the whole board quzah! <>

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    Registered User hk_mp5kpdw's Avatar
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    Whenever I see a post like that I have to highlight everything with my mouse to see it clearly. It's an extra step but it doesn't impede me that much. I would prefer strong contrast of course.
    "Owners of dogs will have noticed that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are god. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realize that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are gods."
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    haha, i thought it was funny but you do have a little point there i suppose... =P ha
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    Registered User whiteflags's Avatar
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    Lately, it is almost impossible at times to read messages from the user quzah because the text has practically no contrast* to the background.
    Bah, what do you care? The people who really would be affected by what quzah posts are probably only the colorblind. I really doubt that anyone suffering from color blindness experiences quzah's posts the same way you do. You could always use a browser that doesn't suck and force web pages to display in the color form of your choosing if it bothers you that much. In fact, that's partly the reason they can use the internet in the first place.

    What is the point of supporting colored text on a forum if you're going to control contrast anyway? I think you just want to get someone in trouble because you can't figure out a solution to your own personal problem. Anyone who can't figure out how to read quzah's posts probably shouldn't be reading them anyway. I support equal opportunity colorization, because I like it.

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    By putting in a contrast restriction, not every color is blocked or not allowed. If the contrast was at least 64, then I'd be satisfied and wouldn't mind it. That still leaves open a lot of possible colors. Examples:

    Red is about 85 for the contrast difference - 223 minus 138.
    Magenta is pushing it at 71 contrast difference - 223 minus 152.
    Blue is easily seen with a 121 contrast difference - 223 minus 102.
    This gray is the recommended minimum with 64 difference (223-159).

    Colors like green (######), cyan (######), and yellow (######), have too little contrast at 1, 7, and 23. These values are based on the quoted message as this is the darkest background. For messages, it's 241 for the brightness instead of 223 which adds 18 to the contrast for the darker colors mentioned above, but the lighter colors have 17, 11, and 5 in the same order.
    All I'm suggesting is a minimum of 64 for the contrast to be enforced and if too low, the post shouldn't send until the contrast is fixed. The main background contrast is the most important, but still, that's a lot of colors still available.

    Edit: I use Firefox, but almost every browser would have this. IE and Firefox are both common, along with Opera and Netscape and they would all have the exact same effect.
    Last edited by ulillillia; 05-04-2007 at 09:00 PM. Reason: Forgot something

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    Registered User whiteflags's Avatar
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    So that solves the problem? You missed the point.

    If vbulletin has that sort of flexibilty, I'm surprised, but what you're suggesting isn't worth the effort. Anyone who's bothered by what quzah does has already taken care of it for themselves or doesn't care. Not to be rude, but I'll bet you $50 dollars that taking contrast into account systematically won't solve the problem. Even using "approved" colors, if you make the effort, a post can still look like crap. I believe that the only way to solve it systematically and reliably is to either remove color entirely, or require mod approval for every post.

    If anyone steps up to the plate to moderate all incoming messages, I'll shut up. Until then, we aren't a newsgroup.

  8. #8
    Just Lurking Dave_Sinkula's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ulillillia View Post
    By putting in a contrast restriction, not every color is blocked or not allowed.
    But then you can't do this!
    7. It is easier to write an incorrect program than understand a correct one.
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    Actually, you can do it. You can use a color like 800040 or 38926D since the contrast is much higher than the suggested 64 minimum. Most of the colors possible are still available, even 2/3 of the colors. All colors with color values up to 159 decimal (0x9F; assuming this is the highest of any of the color values), but even colors going to 255 are also allowed. Look at magenta again and you can see that 255 for both red and blue is allowed. 64 is all I'm suggesting as the minimum. I prefer 96 for a better minimum, but I'm happy with 64.

    Even on the forum software, it's possible. Basically, the check would look for the color UBBCode tag then check the color. The algorithm for determining the contrast is applied and if below 64, the user would see an error stating that the contrast is too low. If all colors had a contrast of at least 64, the post would not cause an error or anything and would send normally. I've seen other forums having an error system as I'm describing, but none for contrast.

    The point of my thread is only intended to be a suggestion, that's all.

  10. #10
    Just Lurking Dave_Sinkula's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ulillillia View Post
    The point of my thread is only intended to be a suggestion, that's all.
    No, I understand. But the board and its members have history; this is a bit of reminiscence at the moment IMO.

    A fun distraction to some. A way for those who have answered the same question hundreds of times to try a 49th approach coaxing some at thinking for themselves, in certain cases. YMMV.

    From past experience, I don't consider it to be incredibly permanent. Or worthy of spending time creating a rule. But that's just my opinion.

    Further, I get a little be tired of *performing the magic* to read it as written. But it hasn't risen to my level of "it's gotta go". I guess because I see it as more than 75% useful and humorous -- given the situation, but novelty wears off.

    My advice: roll with it. Ignore quzah, *perform the magic*, or don't care. But that's just me -- not the C Board.
    7. It is easier to write an incorrect program than understand a correct one.
    40. There are two ways to write error-free programs; only the third one works.*

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    I understand and I was only offering a suggestion. Pressing Control+A - how quick and easy is that? It takes maybe one measely second. It takes that long just to say "video card". If many users start complaining about it, then action can be taken, but so far, that doesn't seem to be the case. On my usual priority scale of 0 to 8, I'd put this at a 1 or a 2. I do have the necessary details for implementing such a feature should it be more useful. I only need to work out the fine details, but the major and moderate details are already known (the graph is one of the moderate details; the method of determining contrast (difference of brightness) is a major detail).

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    The superhaterodyne twomers's Avatar
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    >> But then you can't do this!

    But I got in trouble for that before

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    Just Lurking Dave_Sinkula's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twomers View Post
    >> But then you can't do this!

    But I got in trouble for that before
    A general guideline with jokes and pranks that I tell my kids is this: once, twice, three times might be okay; after that it's old.

    Perhaps that's merely a distillation of "enjoy in moderation".
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    Frequently Quite Prolix dwks's Avatar
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    It helps if you make some of the text visible or add a smiley afterwards like this so you can see that there is some invisible text there.
    dwk

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    Woof, woof! zacs7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ulillillia View Post
    By putting in a contrast restriction, not every color is blocked or not allowed. If the contrast was at least 64, then I'd be satisfied and wouldn't mind it. That still leaves open a lot of possible colors. Examples:



    All I'm suggesting is a minimum of 64 for the contrast to be enforced and if too low, the post shouldn't send until the contrast is fixed. The main background contrast is the most important, but still, that's a lot of colors still available.

    Edit: I use Firefox, but almost every browser would have this. IE and Firefox are both common, along with Opera and Netscape and they would all have the exact same effect.
    Again with the pointless long rants about colour.

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