or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

You're Soaking In It

The advent of Windows 8 will have little effect in this household: I'm a Mac man, Jim uses Linux, and though we both use Windows at work, they're both older (aka legacy, aka primitive) versions.

Slate's Farhad Manjoo doesn't much care for it — the piece is titled "You'll Hate Windows 8" — and this guy, Michael Mace, likes it even less. Here's his screen grab of the Start screen:

He actually likes that part, called Metro, based on international signage. I think it looks kind of cheap and flat: kindergarteny.

Here's what he has to say about it:

Instead of application icons, Metro features large rectangles (or tiles) in primary colors which are clicked to launch apps, and which can also display live content (like the time or a message).

Do most people think "primary" means "bright"? Because I see that mistake a lot. Back when the movie "Dick Tracy" came out, reviewers kept talking about the movie's "primary colour palette", when it was nothing of the sort: according to Wikipedia, "Early in the development of Dick Tracy, Warren Beatty decided to make the film using a palette limited to just seven colors, primarily red, green, blue and yellow—to evoke the film's comic strip origins...."

Red, yellow, and blue (in pigments — light uses a different set of rules) are the primary colours, which we can mix to make the secondary colours: orange, green, and violet. In turn we can mix a primary and one of the two secondaries which contain that primary to make the six tertiary colours. The colours in that screen grab above are actually mostly secondary: lots of violet, orange, and green, with a few shots of blue and red and a bit of (tertiary) teal.

I think when people use "primary" in this context, they actually mean "saturated". A colour's saturation is a reflection of how far it is from a grey of the same value (brightness or darkness). You can't have a primary yellow-green, but you certainly can have an extremely saturated yellow-green

or a modestly desaturated one like this

or a heavily desaturated one like this.

Those are all the same colour, just brought increasingly closer to grey.


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