[rfc-i] Color/grayscale/monochrome (was: Re: Reasons for going beyond ASCII art)

"Martin J. Dürst" duerst at it.aoyama.ac.jp
Tue Sep 25 18:16:38 PDT 2012


On 2012/09/25 23:41, Heather Flanagan (RFC Series Editor) wrote:
> On 9/21/12 4:40 PM, Brian E Carpenter wrote:

>> A related point that is not mentioned is whether we have a requirement
>> to support colour or greyscale, or whether we require that an RFC can
>> be correctly printed in monochrome.
>
> Very good point!  Something about this needs to be in the doc.  I think
> opening up to color introduces a rather large set of complications.
> Color blindness and screen calibration issues are the first concerns
> that pop in to my head.  I understand some people will find the diagrams
> that much easier to read if color was involved, but I am not convinced
> the benefit outweighs the difficulties this would introduce.

In terms of technology, color doesn't introduce many complications. 
Graphics and image formats these days can handle color without problems. 
Same for displays even on quite limited devices (not if one wants to 
read an RFC on the display of a washing machine or a pocket calculator, 
but in that case, there will be more serious problems anyway). For 
printers, there are certainly still black-and-white or grayscale 
printers, but most printers these days can handle color, too.

So the main problem are humans. We need to have a clear accessibility 
story for graphics/images anyway, which can probably be summarized in 
these two checkpoints:

1) Graphic/image needs to still be understandable when viewed in 
grayscale or monochrome mode.
2) Document needs to be understandable even without the graphics/images.

Given that we need a checklist anyway, the fact that it has two entries 
doesn't change too much. And these points should go into ID-nits, too, 
so that authors are aware of them early on, and the RFC editor doesn't 
need to go back to the authors and tell them to submit conforming 
graphics/images. It should never be necessary that the RFC Editor on 
their own has to change the graphics/images, that should always be the 
responsibility of the authors/editors.

Regards,    Martin.


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