Thank you, guys. The confusion, it appears, was entirely mine. I'll spare you my various excuses; one of the many clues that should have alerted me to the error of my ways was in sp_titletextbg! :) I do wish, however, that there had been some "safe" way to put text on a stippled or striped background in other cases too. But thats ok. Im very glad of the palette system as it is. It has stood up well to the test of time!


On 24/08/2018 22:00, Dilwyn Jones via Ql-Users wrote:
I tended to avoid "strip" colours in my WMAN2 programs and preferred to think of the middleground as a second INK colour, either for headings or for "sub-texts" such as prompts or warnings above menus. I never really knew if I was using it correctly (guess I was for title bars), but never really thought to query it at the time despite writing articles about it in QL Toady, Quanta, etc.

-----Original Message----- From: Marcel Kilgus via Ql-Users
Sent: Friday, August 24, 2018 4:37 PM
Cc: Marcel Kilgus
Subject: Re: [Ql-Users] colour confusion

OK, I have a little bit more time and net here now. When I defined the colours 15 or so years ago I was asking the community for feedback, but I think most people didn‘t even quite understand the purpose yet, so there weren‘t really any changes to it.

I defined the colours based on three things, the Windows 95 colour palette, the WMAN window structures and the colours needed to successfully port QPAC2 to them. Only one or two additions were made for other software like QD (which still has the editor colours in its own config block as I felt these were not generic enough in usage).

With QPAC2 it was necessary to have a foreground colour and one other font colour, for which I created the name „middle ground“. This was part joke and part lack of a better name. Plus, nobody complained ;)

I never realized this could be interpreted as STRIP colour, especially as I actually defined one „STRIP“ colour, too: „Title text background“. I don‘t have my laptop with me, but I don‘t think there is the concept of a „STRIP“ colour in the data structures, so I probably never really considered it. Sorry for the confusion!

I was hoping that some day there would be a style guide, but adoption of the system palette was slow and finally I forgot about it. Still, many applications these days use them, so I consider them a success nonetheless.

One more thing: they are defined somewhat conservatively because if you give too many options thing get even more messy. I know Per was always on the rather bleeding edge of WMAN UI development so probably struggled a lot more with them than anybody who simply duplicated the QJump style.

Cheers, Marcel

Am 24.08.2018 um 14:45 schrieb pjwitte via Ql-Users <>:

There appears to be some inconsistency in the application of colour components of palettes by different software authors. Im referring in particular to the use of "middle ground". Correct me if Im wrong, but I assumed this option was reserved for use as the strip colour, ie the colour of the text background. Some authors do it this way, while others use the background (ie normally the paper colour) as text background. This can make texts like titles, info texts, and error messages unreadable, depending on the palettes used.

While it is possible to devise palettes that will work in either case, it sort of cramps one's style a bit. And the whole motivation for going to the trouble of devising palettes and systems, one presumes, is to make things simpler, more consistent - less mickymouse.

Unless it is already too late (ie the bug has become convention) it would be great if the next iteration of relevant documentation could firm up the convention that:

background is equivalent to PAPER colour,
middle ground is equivalent to STRIP colour, and
foreground is equivalent to INK colour,

if that is indeed the intention.

Perhaps authors too, would try keep this in mind when releasing updates?


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