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You're correct in that, for example, purple lies halfway between read an blue in terms of hue. However, an interpolation between those colors based on hue that does not adjust saturation, will look quite ugly, as it passes through magenta, etc. The question is, how should one adjust the saturation?

There's nothing wrong with any given color space. It was designed with particular goals in mind, and those goals generally did not include attractive blending through linear interpolation. So, yes, we developed a means of hand-tuning the interpolation such that it produces colors that look good together, which is what our users really cares about.

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