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From Armin Le Grand <Armin.Le.Gr...@me.com>
Subject [proposal] Adopt palette to Symphony palette partially
Date Thu, 20 Dec 2012 10:45:47 GMT
     Hi List,

Talking about palettes is always difficult - at the end, it's a question 
of taste. Nonetheless, we need a palette which is by default installed 
with the office. You all know the current one (for years ;-)) which I 
think is far from optimal. Thus, I analyzed the current one and want to 
share my findings. From that, I want to propose a change for our next 
release. Also probably not optimal, but optimal in this field depends on 
the user's eye and cannot be met by a single palette anyways.

Talking about palettes is also difficult since you need to 'see' 
something - pictures say more than words. To make that easier, I have 
prepared some data. Please look at

A Impress document containing two slides 
(http://people.apache.org/~alg/Palette/palette.odp)
The two slides as png's for convenience 
(http://people.apache.org/~alg/Palette/palette.png, 
http://people.apache.org/~alg/Palette/palette2.png)

The following thext refers to figures there, so please take a look to 
see what the text is about (...if you want to continue reading ;-))

The current (old?) AOO Palette, It's made up of five groups (from my 
perspective):

(a) The 16 VGA colors: These come originally from the times where only 
16 colors were possible and are in hex color notation exactly all eight 
combinations of red/green/blue on or off, plus these in half intensity. 
It *had* technical reasons, but these colors do not have any special 
meaning for the user today (well, for the programmer). Anyways, they are 
a result of old technical limitations. I think they are ugly and lead to 
ugly results when using them directly (but that's my impression).

(b) The 'Main' Colors: 56 colors which try to build up to eight 
gradient-stepped ranges, e.g. orange. These ranges are *not* 
equidistantly spread, but somewhat wild/random (see e.g. the reds). I do 
not know where they historically come from, but I guess they were done 
by a deveoper at these days. There are some nice colors among them, but 
not too many. I always search for useful colors there

(c) The Pale colors: These seem to be younger than the others, may have 
to do historically with the StarOffice 5.2 color theme, but I'm not 
sure. Not too bad, not too good a selection. A group of seven colors 
which form a nice kind of 'schema' and make your presentation look 
'acceptable' when using them together.

(d) The Chart colors: 12 colors used in the new chart module written 
some years ago. AFAIK these were added at that time especially to 
support the user having colors at hand corresponding to the default 
chart colors. Nice. Useful.

(e) 'Nice' Colors: A sub-group from (b). One is fix, it's the mentioned 
'Blue 9' which is currently the default color for objects and has to be 
in the palette. I personally like (and often use) 'Blue Gray'. These are 
a question of taste, I would reccomend the named ones, but we need to 
collect 'your' favorites here. Keep in mind to keep this number low 
(probably 4-5) and do not forget that the color you like were not 
choosen freely, but *because* you were limited to the offered ones, so 
it might be a compromize you are just used to.

Quite a mix. I compared it with Syphony's palette and there completely 
new colors are used. One interesting aspect are the white/gray/black 
ones: In our current palette these are divided between (a) (black, white 
and two grays) and (b) (the rest, gray 80% .. gray 20%). This is of 
course because the first four grays are technically in the old VGA 
palette. I more than once were mad about finding the correct gray in our 
palette, because of the bad positioning in it. Symphony has all needed 
grays in one draw as first entries in the palette (what I would expect 
nowadays).

Thus, I propose:
- Basically use Symphony palette
- Preserve some nice olors from our old palette, but not more than 4 or 
5. The default color needs to be preserved (blue 9). I propose to only 
keep 'Blue Gray', but let's see which other colors are favorites here...
- Add the Pale colors
- Add the Chart colors

The result is 'hand crafted' in the docs linked above, please have a 
look :-)

Another aspect of the new palette is that it copies from Symphony the 
use of '12-er groups' which look nice when you order the palette in a 
way that 12 colors are in a row, please see the picture. This could be a 
part of our sidepane in progress.

One more hint: This palette offers defaults to the user after AOO is 
newly installed, not more (and not less). It can be changed by the user 
anytime. Colors can be added/deleted by the user. This has no technical 
limitations in the sense that changing the palette may influence 
existing ODF's or other written files. E.g. the chart colors are there 
to not have to look for them, but can be added/removed by the user 
anytime (they are *not* the source for the chart to use them).

Lot of text for some colors. So, tell me what you think about this 
proposed new palette!

Sincerely,
     Armin
--
ALG

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