Monday, March 31, 2014

Riotously Funny Column About Readability of Text

This is by someone who I worked with at JPL decades ago:
I’ve got cataracts, and thanks to a combination of bureaucratic CF at the doctor, at my new insurance company, and sure enough thanks to Obamacare, I still haven’t been able to get them fixed. (May. Maybe.)

For those of you who’ve never had them, the effect is more or less like having really dirty glasses all the time. Small print is hard. (Small print in Chinese is really hard, I have to resort of a magnifying glass.) You lose contrast, and glare washes out everything.

Now, here I am, reading web pages. I’m not going to mention who I’m using as an example, because it’s not Pejman Yousefzadeh’s fault, it’s some damn hipster web designer, who probably wears plaid pajamas and drinks hot chocolate while talking to his mommy and daddy about healthcare.
And yes, the source of the problem is that the color encoding in HTML for the unreadable text is... 666 ... the number of the beast.


  1. Yeah, that's bad but I've seen red text on a blue background. Try reading that without going cross-eyed!

  2. Nothing will mess up your eyes like this :-)

  3. You knew Charlie? Wow, its a small world (tm)...

  4. Red on blue is pretty bad, but gray on black is even worse. And it's not just web pages either. Look at most new electronic gadgets like audio receivers, blue-ray players etc. Most of them these days have black cases and the control and button labels are in dark gray. They are almost impossible to read even in good light.

  5. The text on you own blog looks like it's that same "gray of the Beast." And the text of visited links is an even lighter gray.

    At least the comments are in black text.

  6. Actually, 222, not 666. But I have changed it. The URLs were 666, but they are now a blue.