[rfc-i] No, constraining to a custom SVG profile is not trivial

Christian Huitema huitema at huitema.net
Tue Jan 21 23:10:13 PST 2020

On 1/21/2020 8:48 PM, Carsten Bormann wrote:
> On 2020-01-22, at 04:31, Brian E Carpenter <brian.e.carpenter at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I agree that the lack of coloured shading is annoying for many people, but *using* shading is annoying for people with limited colour vision.
> In Germany, we have colored traffic lights, even if the coloring is less useful for people with limited color vision.

Yes, but you are also careful to always keep the same vertical
arrangement of the lights so the result can be unambiguous even in grey

Finding arrangements like is possible of course -- if I remember
correctly that was a design rule for Windows system icons, color was OK
but the icons should be sufficiently different to be unambiguous in
black and white. But this amounts to enforcing usability rules in the
design, and that's much harder than saying "black and white".

> Accessibility is important, and faithfully reproducing colors is near impossible, but still many archival journals manage to allow color in diagrams.
> It seems we are making the same mistake here as with the expansion beyond ASCII:  by adopting a weird, idiosyncratic subset of the stable state of the art (UTF-8, SVG) we are incurring most of the problems (as well as some additional ones specific to our idiosyncrasies) while enjoying a small part of the benefit.
> Instead of coming up with more weird technical rules, we should focus on handling potential problems in the editorial process.  Guidelines can help here (say, go for more than 60 % contrast in the Lab color model, don’t make semantics depend on non-Latin characters outside Math), but not all will be enforceable by tools, just as with other editorial guidelines (e.g., go for stable references).

I think that's Phil's point. If you make a simple rule like "only use
ComicSans and black and white", people can adhere to it without too much
hassle because the tools all have options to let you do black and white
or use a single font. But if you start enforcing syntax restriction,
then you require a post-processor to run after the standard tools and
that's painful.

-- Christian Huitema

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