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In the W3Schools tutorials on web color, a few different representations of color are presented. Examples: red-green-blue, hue-saturation-lightness, hue-whiteness-brightness, cyan-magenta-yellow-black, and a few different color-naming standards. A new color-space standard has been created and adopted: "Rec. 2020"; it provides a much larger color space than what most computer monitors can display (the sRGB color space). Eventually, computer monitors that support the new Rec. 2020 color space should become available.

 

When the Rec. 2020 monitors become available (a few already are!), will colors coded in the representations currently used in HTML, CSS, etc. look the same on those as they do on current sRGB monitors? Will we have to re-code those colors, or will the representations themselves adapt?

 

I notice that current color representations assume 8 bits per primary (red-green-blue). The Rec. 2020 color space requires 10 or 12 bits per primary. It seems from this that color representation in HTML, CSS, etc. will have to adapt. Is W3C ready? What can we web programmers do to be ready?

 

If this belongs in a different forum (HTML? CSS?), please let me know.

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I don't expect any new color standards to affect the web for at least ten years. 16 million colors is more than enough for the web. Extra color depth might help give a slightly clearer image for videogames, movies and scientific simulations, but is not really necessary for the web.

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The main point of the new color standard (Rec. 2020) is its larger gamut. That is, it can represent a greater range of colors. The sRGB standard (about the same as the Rec. 709 standard) can represent only about 36% of the range of colors that people (with approximately normal color vision) can see. The Rec. 2020 standard can represent about 75%. Look at the CIE diagram image near the top of this web page:

"https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UHDTV"

to see the comparison. Mainly what the Rec. 2020 standard gives us is richer, more saturated colors. I've long noticed that on computer monitors, "red" (RGB coordinates 255-0-0, HSL coordinates 0-100-100 or 360-100-100) actually appears (and scientifically is) orange-red. Rich (more saturated) reds, purples, magentas, and violets cannot be displayed on sRGB monitors. Unless monitors using tunable lasers covering the whole visible range (~400 to ~700 nm) of the spectrum are invented, we'll never get 100% coverage of the range of color we can see; we'll never get 100% saturation. But the Rec. 2020 standard gives us good improvement in that regard, and I'll welcome it. This new standard is already adopted, and monitors capable of displaying it are already being made.

 

I agree that the extra color depth (from 8 bits to 10 or 12 bits) is not needed for much of what is done in web pages such as text, color fill. But it is needed for other things such as photography. Take a close, careful look at the "H" (Hue) color bar on this web page:

"http://www.w3schools.com/colors/colors_hsl.asp"

I see quantization (step changes) in the orange-yellow to yellow-green part and the cyan-blue area of that color bar. With 10 or 12 bits per primary, that would not happen. With the larger gamut (range of colors) of Rec. 2020, this problem will become more serious. This is why Rec. 2020 calls for more bits per primary.

 

The greatest part of the impact of the new standard is hardware - out of this forum's scope. Some of the impact is in operating systems and device drivers - out of this forum's scope. But my sense is that the color representations will have to change/adapt. I also get a sense that what we've already coded and what we code now in web pages may change in appearance as Rec. 2020 monitors catch on. Will RGB 255-0-0 (HSL 0-100-100) look redder on Rec. 2020 monitors? Will magentas, cyans, and greens look richer? Thus will we have to re-code some colors?

 

This is a looking-ahead topic. I believe looking ahead is wise. And I suspect we'll be feeling significant impact sooner than 10 years.

 

Bill.

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I think you should be aware that even today different monitors display the same colors differently. It's not something a web developer should worry about, you will never get your page to look exactly the same on different computers. Some screens show richer colors, some screens have a warmer tint, some screens have a smaller amount of colors.

 

There are many color standards out there already outside of sRGB. Screen hardware changes all the time, we went from CRT to LCD to LED and OLED. There are even screens with yellow pixels these days. Web standards have not changed to adapt to it. The web is not going to be affected by another change.

 

Browsers do the work of converting from color codes on the web to values that the screen can use.

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I think you should be aware that even today different monitors display the same colors differently. It's not something a web developer should worry about, you will never get your page to look exactly the same on different computers. Some screens show richer colors, some screens have a warmer tint, some screens have a smaller amount of colors.

 

There are many color standards out there already outside of sRGB. Screen hardware changes all the time, we went from CRT to LCD to LED and OLED. There are even screens with yellow pixels these days. Web standards have not changed to adapt to it. The web is not going to be affected by another change.

 

Browsers do the work of converting from color codes on the web to values that the screen can use.

I am aware.

 

I would not call CRT, etc. color standards. Those are technologies. "We went from CRT..."? Hmmm... I started with teletypes with rolls of yellow paper, black ribbons, and typeballs! And I can't forget the chain printers. Oh, the memories. We've come a long way.

 

I think I'm convinced. I don't need to concern myself with web standards regarding color.

 

Thank-you.

Bill.

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