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danabramov on June 12, 2014 | hide | past | favorite



This seems excessive. I feel for the family in this time of loss, and of course I've seen the outpouring of support on Twitter about this color, but I don't see why it makes any sense to make it a permanent part of CSS. Is there any precedent for other personal stuff like this in the web standards, de facto or otherwise?


Take a step back and ask yourself question: does it matter? I can see where you're coming from; but, honestly: is your life going to be at all impacted by the name of an individual color?


Should this be done for other CSS contributors who have or will have lost loved ones?


On a case-by-case basis: that's probably fine. (A) It is unlikely to come up too often (lots of people don't have a favorite color), (B) while every named color adds a bit of burden to standards compliance, the bit is so terribly trivial that it's not worth mentioning; it's a single additional line in a lookup table.

There's no precedent issue here to concern ourselves with.


But the extra weight of having to maintain 40,000 named colors?

One in this case isn't one, it is a precedent.


It's the twenty-first century. Assuming we open a precedent that some day grows the named colors to 40,000 entries (which seems like a stretch)... Is maintaining approximately 1.4MB of data in a lookup table really something we are afraid we can't do? I'm pretty sure my computer has forgotten how to count that low.

Is it even a significant burden on the creation of new standards-compliant web browsers? Explain to me how we could go about crafting the development process of a new web browser where populating its table of named colors doesn't reduce to throwing a couple of scripts at a standard normative document to convert that document into the language-du-jour.

Fear of precedent on this question is practically over-stated.


it's a mark of respect, like dedicating a movie to someone. I think the community raising a symbol of support for Meyer in such dark times is much more important than strict naming of CSS colours and I hope you feel the same.


wouldn't it be more thoughtful to remember becca and support her family through a charitable donation or something along those lines rather than trivialize an internet spec?

i feel for the family though and i think it was kind of jeff to reach out to them in a special way today.

EDIT: just so others are aware what the family's wishes are:

"The family requests charitable donations be made in Rebecca’s name to the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House or the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. They further request that those who attend the services and are comfortable wearing purple do so in honor of Rebecca and her favorite color."


Why the dichotomy? Why can't we have both?

Throughout this whole ordeal Eric has maintained that it is with the support of various communities that he has been able to deal with this tragedy. Eric has done a lot for CSS and the web as a whole, and this request would add zero additional complexity to the specification and only one or two lines of code to the implementation.

It really isn't that big a deal, but there's a lot of us that respect him enough that we'd like to do anything in our power to show our support for him and his family right now, even if it's just to memorialize his daughter's favorite color.


It really isn't that big a deal, but there's a lot of us that respect him enough

It is a really big deal, adding enormous politics and payload to every change going forward: Once you start memorializing people through standards, you are implicitly choosing not to memorialize everyone who doesn't get codified in such a way.

Every city and region has a long backlog of honorarium names for upcoming streets and parks, inevitable discussions and debates, etc. Don't turn standards into that.

This is one of those internet things where everyone looks for some cheap feels by saying "Sure, do it!", maybe sending out a couple of easy tweets. That sort of herd behavior should never influence standards, and it is somewhat ridiculous that this discussion is taking place.


https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/CSS/color_value, search for aliceblue.

Now look up http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alice_blue.

It's already happened. You can argue it's a grandfathered name from color standards predating CSS, but this process right here is how these things happen.

I think the world will survive the occasional honorarium done in this fashion. I would even be willing to wager that the world will survive a great many honoraria done in this fashion, if that's what people want; it's just an entry in a lookup table. There's no meaningful risk here; standards have always been what people can agree upon.


Yes, but that was a child of a US president, also a song, in a musical and a movie, is used on US Naval vessles, and was one of the original X11 names. And it was picked because it is the specific blue of her gown.

My heart goes out to Eric and his family; I practically learned CSS from him. But I don't think that inclusion of what seems to be an arbitrary purple makes sense.



Who needs both though, when the family already asked for very specific things?

It seems to me like "the community" needs to do this much more than the family needs it to be done. I don't see one article on Hacker News notifying folks about the donations that the family mentioned. Kind of backwards, don't you think?


Can anyone provide some background on the name? I'm not seeing the relation to Eric Meyers.

UPDATE: Ok I see why now... so sad. :(

https://twitter.com/meyerweb/status/476089708674428929

http://meyerweb.com/eric/thoughts/2014/06/09/in-memoriam-2/


Rebecca's history: http://meyerweb.com/eric/thoughts/category/personal/cancer/

Beautifully written, so hard to read.


Mozilla Bug Report: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1024642

Webkit Bug Report: https://bugs.webkit.org/show_bug.cgi?id=133804

Apparently both of them are just waiting for Eric to confirm that this is OK.



There is no such a thing as CSS4. The specification model has changed. We now have versions per module.


This whole thing is ridiculous and pathetic. Every minute, 11 people die from cancer. Should we create hashtags and name colors for everyone?


That would be excessive. But reserving some space in CSS for the memory of the daughter of someone who had a significant impact on the CSS standard is probably fine.

We don't have monuments to every dead world leader in Washington, D.C., but we somehow find room to make a few for United States presidents.


Just the people with a large role in the CSS community. I don't see how this is any different than a city naming streets after people or a property developer naming cul-de-sac streets after their girlfriends.


Ok, I'll bite, because I like the Red Dwarf reference in your username.

It's not about just honoring any random person. His work has had a big impact on the tech community. His articles about his daughter's illness and death were extremely well written and stuck a chord with thousands of readers.


I'm sure the last thing on Eric's mind right now is CSS and especially the implication of a RFC putting the name of his daughter in a technical specification.

It's one of those nerdy endearing gestures that, while made with good intent, only end up causing more pain while simultaneously opening all kinds of strange questions (such as should we build memorials in our technical specifications every time a tragedy hits someone in the community).

Now's a moment to grief, but after long time, a moment comes to move on. Specifications can't "move on". We shouldn't turn them into graveyards where we bury our feelings.


Please don't make everybody appreciate this story of grief. Everybody who is aware of this now is really sorry for Erics loss. We will accept that cancer is bad. We accept that your daughter dying at this very young age is tragic. But we all will suffer loss in our lives, most of us when our parents die.

Making one's daughters death public like this is arrogant und unfair. It lifts his loss over the ones that we ourselves will have to suffer. We are not even allowed to discuss this rationally, because of the strength of the emotion.

I do not support this "movement", hashtag or thing in general, and I feel emotionally molested.

Edit: Happy downvoting. My grandma killed herself at the age of 86 with a plastic bag. I am claiming IngeborgCreamBeige.


Eric is not the person making this request, and thus far has only shared the circumstances of his daughter's death with people that know or follow him.


Eric might not be the active agent in this, and I understand the context. Wether Eric feels addressed by this or the person behind the hashtag, I believe that my argument becomes clear.


"Stop making your loss public; it's not more important than the losses in my life" is an argument I don't hear often. I can see some merit in it, but it sounds like a counter-argument to functionally any form of public funeral or acknowledgement of death. Couldn't this reasoning be applied as criticism for the funeral of Michael Jackson, Jim Henson, basically any celebrity or political figure, and any soldier who returns from military service in a casket?

You can hold that line of reasoning, it's internally consistent... But it appears disjoint from the cultural values I perceive. Maybe the culture is wrong; in this case, my gut tells me it isn't, but I don't have a good counter-argument to explain my gut. ;)


Thank you for your rational and neutral reply! My intention is not to just troll around.

You ask: > Couldn't this reasoning be applied as criticism for the funeral of Michael Jackson, Jim Henson, basically any celebrity or political figure, and any soldier who returns from military service in a casket?

I don't see this as a rethorical question, and I am going to answer it: Yes, definitely. In my opinion valuing the death of a politician or another person of public interest in the media higher than all common-day tragedy is an insult. My brother lost his very best childhood friend in a tragic car accident. My grandma commited suicide (which surprisingly, tragically is actually not that uncommon with elderly people). Where is his hashtag? I am not trying to make the same argument or really claim the same sympathies, but I am trying to point out that loss is universal, sad and never fair.

In some cultures the idea of absolute equality in death is prevalent. This concept is canceled out by the media attention of the death of a person. I feel very hurt, and loss is bad, there is no question that the individual has a right to mourning and grieving over the loss. But since there this is a universal concept it is unfair to bring other people into this. I do not blame Eric, but I am not sure I understand the motives of making this in to some sort of hashtag campaign.

I feel that this is very unfair, because in this emotional discourse there is no rational argument allowed. I hear people say that "Well what would it hurt, it is just a name in a spec!?". Would we feel the same way if religious groups would claim to influence technology in such a way? How about a Jesus Blue or a JHWH-Green. Religious feelings are also not up for debate, which is why I am claiming to feel molested, because there is no arguing allowed.


I'm sure if your grandma had (directly or indirectly) touched multitudes of people around the world, she'd have gotten her hashtag.

I won't get a hashtag when I die. Heck I'd be lucky to get a social media mention at all. But I'm not going to demand that nobody else get attention that I won't get.

I don't know Meyer or his family personally. But he is a long-time web hero of mine, I lost my mother to cancer recently, and I have a young child, so I followed his journey as he blogged and tweeted it. It was painful, sometimes so much so that I considered unfollowing him on twitter to avoid the depression that followed reading a tweet.

For all Meyer has done for the web, he deserves a little monument built for him one day. I'm sure he'd appreciate this particular one more than one to himself.


There is plenty of rational argument allowed and currently taking place on this matter, so I rather doubt that's the source of your "emotional molestation". Please do not use this as an excuse to take a moral high ground in order to win a debate if you're unable to offer up a rational counterpoint.

Your points about celebrity losses versus personal losses is valid, but has a very simple answer: we don't know you. People well-known in communities or cultures can touch many lives, and people can and will form emotional attachments to them even if they never meet.

We are allowed to feel sad for someone else's loss. I'm sorry I never had the opportunity to feel sad for the people you have lost.


We're carrying cultural inertia from simpler times when people didn't have easy access to the entire world to air their feelings.

It's culturally accepted to share your pain with people you know, and it's culturally accepted not to question or tell people they should keep it to themselves.

The problem is that with the Internet and social media the circle of "people you know" may easily turn out "the entire world".

Quite obviously, our minds are not equipped with the capacity of feeling for everyone's tragedy. If we could truly comprehend the tragedy behind a simple statistic like "thousands die in car accidents every month" it would render us depressed and unable to function.

As we feel more and more like a small village online (with a few billion people in it), the currently established "normal" cultural behavior in case of death will eventually start breaking down.

You are detecting the anomaly of following cultural patterns in a global online community where those patterns are ill-fitting. But most people don't detect it, they just follow the patterns.

Your thinking is not unique, but it's rare. Not many people stop to think and analyze why they're reacting the way they're reacting to your statements. Don't feel bad about the downvotes. We're merely machines running the program (culture) we've been loaded with. We do what the program says is right.


So each time he will read/use "CSS" he will remember his daughter. It's torture. There is time for everything, so time of tears should not be endless.


I don't think you quite understand how CSS or grieving work.




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