[whatwg] Propsal: Mechanism for converting rgb, hex, and named color strings between one another

Daniel Buchner daniel at mozilla.com
Wed Sep 22 14:49:53 PDT 2010

Hello whatwg!

Many developers, js libraries, and frameworks interact with colors in a
variety ways in their pages and apps. One common action they perform in many
of these interactions is to convert colors between RGB and HEX. A fair
amount of js is needed to do this type of thing, see the following examples:
converting hex to rgb in

I propose that we provide a way for developers to get all color equivalents
of a valid color string - red, #ff0, rgb(255, 0, 0).

Currently to derive RGB or HEX values from a named css color there is even
more craziness required. You must create a dummy element, inject it into the
DOM, set styles, get the computed styles, and finally perform various
validity checks to ensure the correct output: Here is an implementation I
put together to convert named colors to RGB or HEX: named colors to hex and
try typing in 'red', 'magenta', etc.

The very fact that the colors can be converted via the implementation I use,
indicates the look-up is already present in browsers, there is just nothing
exposed to developers to take advantage of it.

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