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Let's change the HN title bar to #663399
113 points by tylerrooney on June 12, 2014 | hide | past | web | favorite | 40 comments
Learn more: http://www.zeldman.com/2014/06/10/the-color-purple/

In Memory of Rebecca Meyer, help fund childhood cancer research: https://www.stbaldricks.org/donate/fundraiser/539/2014

For those who didn't click the link, it's not a proposal to make the site more readable, it's part of a memorial effort.

Yes, but I'd like to be able to still use the site and do the memorial bit at the same time, so I went with a lighter shade. ;)

Did nobody actually read the Zeldman post linked above? This was not intended to be a discussion of a redesign.

Perhaps I should have added more context to the title and text as the purpose of the post seems lost to most commenters.

Rebecca Meyer is the daughter of Eric Meyer who you may know through through his two decades of work on behalf of web development and web standards. He is the author of Cascading Style Sheets: The Definitive Guide and the widely used Reset CSS (http://meyerweb.com/eric/tools/css/reset/).

I would assume that many (if not most) users of Hacker News have benefited from Eric's work.

Rebecca died from cancer on Saturday on her 6th birthday. As per the link from Jeffrey Zeldman's blog, there is an effort to get #663399Becca trending today, (June 12th) in a show of solidarity.

For those that don't know, Eric Meyer is an extremely influential programmer, who dedicated a ton of time to improving CSS. Right now my laptop's resting on one of his books. He is as _why was to ruby or dmr was to C. Half of the CSS I've ever written wouldn't work without his contributions.

I'm in favor of changing the title bar color temporarily.

I know lots of great people who have died, lots of good charitable efforts, and a few good charitable efforts connected to good people who have died.

Can I get HN to put something in their banner every day for a different one?

A nice idea. I would prefer a link to donate to Watsi (any people with the same or similar illnesses?) or to some page covering latest best quality research (and some explanation of that research).

And I can't help but wonder why this gets support but I am routinely downvoted and generally crapped for attempting to talk about what I have done to beat my medical death sentence. It is not intended to piss on this effort. I just honestly do not understand this. If you have genuine concern for other people, why say nice things only after they are dead? Why be so awful to the living? Why shout down someone trying to figure out how to help people with deadly conditions?

I honestly do not know where to go anymore to try to talk to people and work on anything. This isn't intended at all as dickish. If people have so much compassion, why not try to support efforts to improve things?

"And I can't help but wonder why this gets support but I am routinely downvoted and generally crapped for attempting to talk about what I have done to beat my medical death sentence"

Since you're being so rude here, I will note that it is probably because you are an unreliable narrator who "cures" herself with blogsourced finds and people have little need for advice that is not based in reality. You post about being shunned by multiple CF communities, I would be willing to guess that it is not because they are afraid of any stunning discoveries you have made.

Personal attacks are not allowed on HN, regardless of how strongly you disagree with someone.

It's true that the GP's complaints about downvotes also break the HN guidelines, but being mean is much worse. Please don't.

You're right. The insincere "wondering why" shouldn't have baited my response.


It is not a rant and your ugly reply and the downvote my above comment got is just proving my point. I have no reason to believe that starting a new thread would be constructive. In fact, I have every reason to believe the response to that would be far uglier than the response to the above remark.

#663399Becca would be even better.

Edit: I was thinking page title. #663399 as the color for the header would be really nice too.

414141. I know I'm not alone out there =]

I feel like I'm missing something here.

A very young girl died of cancer. That's pretty sad, but I fail to see how it's anymore sad than the hundreds/thousands of people who die of cancer every day. Millions of people will have died of cancer by the end of this year.

So we have all these people tweeting this hashtag and coloring their Twitter avatar purple, because Rebecca's favorite color was purple (no non-sequitur there).

Why? Why are we mourning the death of this particular individual; what about her plight is so unique?

To me it just seems like bandwagoning.

Surely there's some aspect of this that I do not understand or of which I am unaware.

People are doing this because Eric helped to take CSS from its infancy into the modern usage we have today. He wrote CSS: The Definitive Guide and many other books on the topics. He co-founded the An Event Apart conferences. Nearly every site on the internet has been directly or indirectly influenced by his work. Over the past year, he has documented, with great clarity, everything his family has experienced since his daughter fell ill on a family vacation last summer. I've met him at An Event Apart, and I can also say that he's a really nice guy.

Now pay attention to this next part because it might be hard to follow. As humans, many of us empathize with this profound loss experienced by someone whose work has been so influential in our own careers. As humans, many of us have experienced similar loss. Many more of us, as parents, hope never to have to.

If that's unclear, perhaps someone who is a better programmer than I can translate it into code and put it in a Gist.

That is context, that Eric is someone who's made tech contributions many HN'ers have used, and who many HN'ers have a relationship with -- that I believe was missing from this post prior to your comment.

I'm not sure if you were assuming everyone should recognize his name. Because, without that context, it is clear there are many many people, every day, who suffer things that many of us have sympathy for, but would not make a lot of sense to probably anyone to alter HN, every day, in sympathy for.

Try being a bit less condescending. Just because someone thinks displays like this are hypocritical doesn't mean they are heartless. It could mean they are acutely aware that the only reason people care about this is incidental circumstance, and that equally sad events pass by without scrutiny because it didn't happen to someone who's milked it out for attention. Because that's what blogging about your daughter's cancer is.

If you're the kind of person who prefers fairness over indulging feels, then token efforts like pinning ribbons to things look like an ostentatious display of hypocrisy to friends and family, to show that you care about something everyone still collectively agrees not to do anything about (i.e. a kid dying).

Either he's feigning ignorance over why anybody would be the slightest bit empathetic toward the death of Eric Meyer's daughter or he's too much of a robot to actually understand.

You can make an argument that HN must be 100 percent on-topic, at all times, and that it doesn't belong here. But you can also argue that we are all humans and we can just accept it once in a while, even here.

To jump to the conclusion that it's all just for show, and nobody will actually take any sort of real action is pure cynicism. People have actually been affected by this, in ways that are certainly small in comparison to the the way the Meyer family has been. The most visible gestures might not accomplish much, but many people are actually donating money to charities that have a very real impact.

A year from now the people who turned their avatars purple today won't remember the hash tag or what it was for. This isn't about one kid dying, or many kids dying. It's about a bunch of people frantically acting to hide their sense of impotence.

I disagree. Eric Meyer has been writing about Rebecca's cancer since they found out on their vacation last summer, and many have been following. This isn't something that just happened today. It's been happening for nearly a year.

The thoughts it raises, particularly for parents, are not the kind that can just be dismissed once the hashtag stops trending.

It was actually counterproductive to leave out the context of this guy developing CSS and a link to whatever blog documented the cancer's story. The given explanation was simply adults don't have favorite colors, children do. You're perfectly welcome to have fewer people interested and make the whole thing seem like a pretentious non-sequitur to 99.99% of the world's population, but I guess you didn't think Rebecca deserved better and were simply being incompetent.

Honest question - Are you going to also make a list of all the other products that you've used to live your life and make your money, so that anytime anyone in the family of one of the product developers dies, you can do something like this?

I think almost everybody understands human loss and can empathize. It's a bit rude to assume that someone doesn't, just because they don't want to support this rather tasteless memorial.

A child's life ended and now there is a color named after her (or some site changed a color band). What exactly is that doing for anyone other than adding a bit of trivia to the CSS spec so that people can read about it and say "Oh, that's horrible!" and then move on with their lives? What is that doing for the parents? Is the perception of this named color supposed to invoke some kind of warm feeling? Is it to let the parents know that "we support you"? If so - don't you think providing some actual support in the form of something useful would be much better?

I am a bit confused about your post. How old are you? How have you managed to live without learning that people do stuff like this - they wear little coloured ribbons or wristbands or etc. when someone dies people will talk about how clever / nice / awesome etc (even if they weren't).

While I agree with you (I don't know him; I didn't know her; I don't care that she's dead; I see zero point in concentrating more on her death than on any of the many thousands of other deaths; etc etc) I do know that posting questions like your will just annoy or distress people and also will not serve any point.

So I tend to bite my tongue when things like this suggestion come up. People want to tinker with a CSS value? Sure, go ahead. People want to attach special meaning to that? Yep, fine. People want to link to and discuss best modern research for the illness that she died from, with links to funding for research or Watsi funding for other existing patients? Brilliant, I might even donate.

But I've learnt to hide my real feelings - the neuro-typicals have kicked them out of me over the years.

It is quite arbitrary to mourn someone you don't know who was a relative of someone else you don't know.

However I am inclined to agree, just let it go, if people want to mourn let them mourn, even if it just bandwagon jumping. If you asked Nietzsche, he would probably say they are just mourning their own mortality, ie there is no such thing as a selfless act, they are just doing to feel good about themselves.

And surely it won't be as bad as the Steve Jobs fiasco.

I don't know Eric Meyer personally, but I've known him on the interwebs for decades. He's one of the folk from the early days who is very familiar to many of us.

In the same way that I don't personally know Linus, Mark Andreesen, Tim Berners-Lee, et al, I remember the days on usenet when we all hung out and got shit done.

I'm a nobody in the grand scheme of things -- and I'm quite okay with that -- but there have been thousands of us who made all the stuff we use today happen. Eric is one of those who made a little more impact than the rest of us anonymous folk. And for many of us who shared the delights of his work, we share his pain.

If we only acknowledge the big names, the "celebrities" if you will, then we've lost our soul. The internet has been built by thousands, not a handful, and Eric is someone many of us associate with.

That's why we are all sad today and why we want to show solidarity. Burying a parent is hard. I cannot fathom burying a six year old child.

Many, many people who work on the Web are familiar with Eric Meyer and have used his Reset CSS, and so it feels more personal for some.

colour is like a mini brand, a sense of identity. the old freshmeat was orange too.

#f6f6ef forever, baby. I like my seamless page.

Uh, that can be set by users as a perk for having enough karma. I think we usually do black bars on the top.

Its unreadable with that shade. I use #cccccc.

I've used #5ce7ff so long I sometimes forget the default is orange..

The topbar text colour should change automatically to the one with the best contrast.

Really? It doesn't for me, never has.

I'm saying it should i.e. it ought to, not that it does, but I can see how you'd be confused.

My mistake. I'm confused easily :)

Contextually, I believe "should" is referring to what the OP would like HN to do not what HN does d.

Try #BFBF9B.

That isn't a purple.

I'm going to use #EED2EE which is thistle, close enough. ;)

I use #ffaa33 as my default as it's a lighter shade

The proposed color makes it unreadable, #aa99ff looks ok though

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