Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Color

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RfC: "Shades of red" vs "Variations of red" or "Tones of red"?[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
The consensus of this discussion is that articles discussing the different variations, shades, tints, and even tones of colors (I use these terms as a layman, not to be confused with their technical definitions) should use the "Shades of ..." as the article title.--v/r - TP 21:48, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

The color articles in WP use two different wordings in their titles to discuss the same concept: "shades of ..." and "variations of ...". Examples: Variations of red, Category:Shades of blue, Template:Shades of green. About 2/3 use "shades of..." and 1/3 use "variations of ...". See Category:Shades of color templates and Category:Shades of color for a complete list. A discussion above in this Talk page suggested that they should all use a consistent terminology. Which terminology is best for color article titles? "shades of ..." or "variations of ..."? --Noleander (talk) 01:03, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

  • Shades of ... - "Shades of red" seems like a much more common and understandable phrase. "Variations of red" strikes me as a peculiar phrase, that would address spelling variations, or something unrelated to color. I've heard the phrase "shades of ..." thousands of times in my life, but I've never heard "variations of ..". The WP:NAMINGCRITERIA policy lists five criteria for titles: Recognizability, Naturalness, Precision, Conciseness, and Consistency. "Shades of ..." wins on three of the five (recogn, natural, concise); "Variations of ..." wins on Precision; and they tie on Consistency. The only decent argument in favor of "variations of ..." is that "shade" has a particular technical meaning in the color-technology world (see Tints and shades article for details) but I don't see how that affects this choice, since the WP:NAMINGCRITERIA focues on what is best for the typical reader, not the black-belt technical expert. --Noleander (talk) 01:09, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment - Google web statistics show that "shades of blue" is about 20 times more common than "variations of blue". Ditto for "green". --Noleander (talk) 01:13, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
  • "Variations of..." is used for the color ARTICLES detailing various colors of a particular hue. "Shades of..." is used for the color TEMPLATES detailing various colors of a particular hue at the bottom of articles about colors of that hue. That way, the articles can be easily distinguished from the templates. I think this division of terminology should be continued as it is less confusing to the Wikipedia user. Keraunos (talk) 03:16, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the comment. A couple of questions: (1) WP has hundreds of templates that share the same name as an article, such as Baseball and Template:Baseball, or Atlanta and Template:Atlanta. Can you give an example how a user could get the two mixed up? (2) Can you cite some guidance from WP:NAMINGCRITERIA that suggests that "Variatitons of ... " is better than "Shades of... "? (3) what do you think of the Google statistics (above)? --Noleander (talk) 03:25, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment - To try to get more input, I selected a few editors at random from this Color project's membership list, and notified them of the RfC. I've never communicated before with any of the editors, and my invitation was worded neutrally in compliance with WP:CANVASSING. --Noleander (talk) 13:40, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment: To me "shades of..." sounds more natural - less forced - in colloquial speech, while "variations of..." seems more pernickety. If "shades" is not technically incorrect, I would prefer it. However, if it is technically wrong then "variations" would be better. Analogy: people constantly use the term "poisonous snake" when "venomoous snake" should be used, "poisonous" being technically incorrect, though not usually causing misunderstanding. Maias (talk) 14:18, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
  • "Shade" has a specific technical meaning in colour mixing, and so does "tint" as explained in tints and shades. These meanings are different from each other, but both are included in the article variations of red. Renaming this article "shades of red" without any change to content would make it technically inaccurate. Although the article does not point this out, it is also true that some of the colours identified as a variation of red involve a variation of hue which is a different parameter again and it would be a nonsense to describe these as shades. SpinningSpark 14:28, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
Would you object to changing the templates and categories names to use "Variations of ..."? e.g. Template:Shades of blue -> Template:Variations of blue? --Noleander (talk) 14:44, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
It depends what's supposed to be in the category in the first place, but seems a good plan to me. Having separate sub-categories for tints and for shades has some appeal but it is perfectly possible for a colour to simultaneously be tinted and shaded. All browns are in this class for instance. Wikipedia has a problem with sub-categories that are not mutually exclusive. SpinningSpark 14:56, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
The big thing to be is the consistency across article/category/template, since they are all talking about the same underlying set of colors. I'm not hard over on Shades, so if Variations is the consensus, I'd still propose changing the Templates and Categories to "Variations of ..." for consistency. --Noleander (talk) 15:09, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Question - I see a couple of editors have remarked on the precision of "shade" vs "variation" (shade is imprecise). But the WP:NAMINGCRITERIA guide includes several other factors, such as commonality and naturalness, so a weighing is involved here. Could some of the above editors remark on the balancing of the multiple criteria listed in WP:NAMINGCRITERIA? --Noleander (talk) 14:50, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
The article itself has chosen to structure itself around the technical division between tints and shades, as have all the other corresponding colour articles. It is badly inconsistent and confusing to have an article prominently promoting that tints and shades are different sets but with a title that implies they are the same. SpinningSpark 15:05, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment - My reading of WP:TITLE leans toward "variations" being better than "shades". VMS Mosaic (talk) 06:03, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
  • I think the articles should be left as "Variations of..." and the templates should be retitled as "TONES of..." The term "tone" when referring to colors applies to BOTH tints AND shades in their technical sense. "Shade" in the general, colloquial sense (meaning either a tint or a shade in their technical senses) is just as inaccurate word for "tone". So calling the color templates "Tones of..." would be the most accurate, precise usage. Keraunos (talk) 06:15, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
If you prefer "Tones of ..." for the templates and categories (and you suggest that "tones" encompasses the entire range of colors within them): then what is wrong with "Tones of ..." for the articles, since the articles cover the exact same set of colors? --Noleander (talk) 13:48, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
FWIW, I think “Tones of...” would be highly confusing, since that term is very strongly associated with music. –jacobolus (t) 16:16, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
So is "Variations of ...."  :-) --Noleander (talk) 16:25, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
I don't see any advantage to using "Tones of..." As I said above, many of the colours described in the article involve a change of hue from the base colour. Such a change is not encompassed by any of shade, tint or tone so "tones of..." would still be technically wrong without getting any nearer to WP:COMMONNAME. SpinningSpark 16:29, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Shades of sounds much more natural to me, more specific to colour in particular, but easily comprehensible to the general non-specialist reader. --Annielogue (talk) 10:23, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
  • I agree with those who say that shades sounds more natural than variations. However there are two points, one referring to usages and the other to precision of meaning. In usage, it might be worth using both when one wishes to use "elegant variation" to avoid particularly cumbersome phrasing (not just to look elegant of course!) In precision, I would not use variation to refer to a given red, but to refer to differences or ranges -- variations, in short. Remember also one cna avoid the problem in many cases, such as by speaking of "reds" as in " a study in reds and greens". JonRichfield (talk) 19:56, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
All good points. Your comments seem to be addressing the situation of talking about colors in prose. This RfC is focusing on the very narrow question of how to make the article/category/template names more consistent. For example, WP has the following three pages for green: Variations of green, Category:Shades of green, and Template:Shades of green. That is a big inconsistency in the titles. The RfC is asking: should those three titles all be "Shades of ..." or "Variations of ...". --Noleander (talk) 20:26, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Tones is the correct term: As I mentioned, "Tones" is the correct term, not "Shades" (a colloquial term), because technically in color theory, a tint is a color of high value (a light color) and a shade is a color of low value (a dark color). The term "tone" covers both tints and shades. Therefore, the "Shades of..." templates should be renamed "Tones of..." and the "Category:Shades of..." should be renamed "Category:Tones of..." in order to make the terminology more exact and technically correct. I think the name "Variations of..." for the articles is OK, but another name could be "Various tones of...." because only a few of the many tones of a color are included in these articles, while in the templates, most of the tones of a color (that are in Wikipedia) are included. Keraunos (talk) 22:10, 1 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Shades. Variations doesn't seem to be the right word. Hipocrite (talk) 11:53, 21 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Shades per common usage, with redirect from hues, tones, tints, variations. The lead should make the usage clear, something like "Shades of red, (or technically tones, encompassing variations in both shade and hue) are much nicer than shades of orange because..." Rich Farmbrough, 20:49, 23 October 2011 (UTC).
  • Shades per Noleander and Rich Farmbrough. We can always explain the correct technical terminology in the articles themselves. — Mr. Stradivarius 07:18, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment - I posted a notice at Admin noticeboard asking if someone would weigh-in and close this. Unfortunately the comments above are not unanimous. Consensus in WP is determined by weight of argument, not vote-counting. I'm of the opinion, after reading all the RfC comments above, that "Shades of ..." is overall the better name (acknowledging that it is not perfect), thus the "Variations of..." articles should be re-named. As an involved editor, I'm not comfortable actually performing the renames, so I posted the notice with the hope that a veteran admin will be able to weigh the arguments above and see if consensus for a rename was achieved. --Noleander (talk) 12:40, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Where merge minor color material?[edit]

User Slon02 raises some good questions about where to merge small articles on minor colors. See discussions at Talk:Redwood (color), Talk:Lion (color), Talk:Camel (color), Talk:Wine (color), Talk:Redwood (color), Talk:Flame (color), Talk:Brandeis blue, Talk:Byzantium (color), Talk:Amethyst (color), and Talk:Robin egg blue. The underlying question is: for minor colors like this that really dont warrant a dedicated article, should they be merged into the physical object they represent (e.g. Flame) or into the color-list article (e.g. Shades of red). It is probably best to have a centralized discussion here rather than repeat the discusion in eight locations. --Noleander (talk) 21:03, 2 October 2011 (UTC)

I'd agree that a centralized discussion is best here. I would say that in either situation, a color should be mentioned in a color-list article, even if it is also merged into the article on the physical object that it represents. I think it's beneficial to have handy lists of colors in easily accessible locations. Going along this line of reasoning, articles on the physical objects could just have links (with or without short descriptions) to the section of the color lists where the specific color is listed.--Slon02 (talk) 02:14, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
That approach sounds good to me. Also, I'd suggest that you add a comment to the Talk page of the above proposed-merger Talk pages, mentioning this centralized discussion. That way if consensus is reached here for some kind of action, watchers of those Talk pages will have been given advance notice. --Noleander (talk) 07:24, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Minor colors should ALWAYS be merged into another color article such as a "Variations of..." article, unless they are colors which are a representation of a dye or pigment, and then they can go in the article about the dye or pigment, such as the Vermilion (color) article. Keraunos (talk) 05:43, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
  • this AfD was just closed as no-consensus. I'd say that articles on X11 colors can fall under minor colors, but can we generate some consensus on this as well?--Slon02 (talk) 03:30, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
    • The list of “X11” colors was completely made up by some anonymous person at some point. Just being on that list is not enough notability for one of these terms to deserve its own article. There are already articles about CSS colors, X11 colors, etc. –jacobolus (t) 10:34, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
      • That may be true; but any AfD of such an article is bound to get multiple !votes of "Keep, it's an X11 colour". Consequently, they are not deletable, even though appearing on a list of colours appears to be quite orthogonal to the GNG. Any future path for those articles has to accommodate the disparate desires of those people who feel that X11 colours are inherently notable and those people who'd rather just keep them in one central article. bobrayner (talk) 18:36, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Most of them should just be deleted outright (e.g. Steel blue which is is non-notable and contains at most a half sentence of sourceable encyclopedic content); unfortunately, carrying on 50 scattered deletion discussions takes more time than many editors really have to spare for participation. Putting it into someplace like “Variations of «major category»” is at least better than the status quo. –jacobolus (t) 07:12, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
  • The vast majority of articles with titles of the form “«some generic object» (color)” (like say “eggshell (color)” or “eggplant (color)” or “flame (color)” or what have you) are basically the “color” equivalent of dictionary definitions or directory entries (see WP:NOT). Such subjects already have articles (at titles like “eggshell” or “flame”) and any curious reader can easily figure out what color is implied by such a name by looking at pictures of the subject in question (or just remembering personal experience with it). Since color term definitions are extremely imprecise and usually encompass a range of possible colors, picking out one (usually very poorly sourced) set of arbitrary RGB coordinates is a gross misuse of Wikipedia’s authority. Those specific RGB coordinates and references to when whatever arbitrary word was first used to refer to a color in some 14th century poem or whatever are completely inappropriate for the articles about the original subject for that word, so definitely we shouldn’t “merge” the minor color articles that way. –jacobolus (t) 10:30, 5 October 2011 (UTC)

Grey and Gray[edit]

I'm aware that these two spellings differ between American and British English, but we have some inconsistency at Category:Shades of gray. Some colors, such as Payne's grey and Grey, use the spelling with an "e", while others, such as Battleship gray, Ash gray and all other colors on that template, use the spelling with an "a". Ironically enough, the template's title is spelling with an "e", while the category's name is spelled with an "a". For some colors, such as Cool grey, there is an article for one spelling and a redirect for another spelling that goes to a color list, not to the specific article. I think we need to standardize a spelling here.--Slon02 (talk) 02:28, 3 October 2011 (UTC)

Consistency is always a good thing. Within a given article it is more or less mandatory. Across a project, it is desirable, but not mandatory. The WP manual of style has a spelling guideline here: Wikipedia:SPELLING#English_spelling_comparison_chart. That chart shows the most common spelling across the major English-speaking countries is "grey" with an E, so maybe that should be adopted as the preferred spelling within the Color project. But we should not forget WP:ENGVAR which says that it is okay for any given article to follow US (gray) or English (grey) spelling. More importantly: WP:RETAIN says that articles should not willy-nilly flip-flop back and forth between two spellings, but I think WP:RETAIN exists mostly to prevent edit wars, not to discourage one-time consistency improvements. --Noleander (talk) 07:33, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
Speaking from a lot of experience, we probably have to live with some articles using one and some using the other. WP:RETAIN is very hard to put aside because any editor can object now or in the future. The template supports both spellings, so that it can match the spelling of whatever article it is in. One way to fix the smaller articles is to merge them into a larger article, at which point the spelling can be changed. VMS Mosaic (talk) 02:19, 5 October 2011 (UTC)

UCLA Blue as standalone article or merged[edit]

There is a discussion on whether UCLA Blue should be a standalone article or merged. Please join the discussion at Talk:UCLA Blue#Merge.—Bagumba (talk) 07:15, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

Template:Shades of violet[edit]

According to Purple, violet has no shades as it is a spectral color. Tho colors in the template are all purples. I suggest a move to Template:Shades of purple, with an appropriate change of the title as well. (talk) 20:59, 21 November 2011 (UTC)

That is an interesting idea. I googled "shade of violet" and got 600K hits; and "shade of purple" is 460K hits. So they are both used a lot, with nearly the same frequency. WP guideline WP:NAMINGCRITERIA lists the five criteria that are used to determine the best title for an article. Maybe you could compare the two alternatives against each of those five criteria and see how they stack up ... that should help make the decision. --Noleander (talk) 01:43, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
  • There should be two templates, one for violet and one for purple. I've been meaning to create a shades of purple template for years but I haven't gotten around to it. Keraunos (talk) 10:28, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
    • Violet tones that should be on the shades of violet template are those purple colors that are blueish tones of purple such as Violet (color), Indigo, and Ultramarine. These tones of violet are colors which are on the spectrum and are called purples in English usage (a purple in English usage is any color between blue and red) whereas in color theory, purples are non-spectral colors between violet and red (not including violet or red themselves) (these colors are also called purples in English usage) such as purple, magenta, Rose (color), and Crimson (color). Keraunos (talk) 10:37, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
      • Splitting them between separate navboxes could be pretty unhelpful, since many readers are likely to be looking through colour articles without making that technical distinction. bobrayner (talk) 10:59, 12 January 2012 (UTC)


I've been working on this article and finally saw that it should have sourced color coordinates, but all the sources I can find list 3 or 4 colors (isabella, isabelline, and isabellinus are the same here). Which one would be appropriate to use? ClayClayClay 19:23, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

If sources give a range of values, then picking only one would be original research, or something like it; it would tend to mislead readers. Showing a range would be OK in that respect, although it might not be easy in other respects (IE. making it visually appealing). A lot of colour articles have a similar problem; sources suggest that a colour occupies a region of RGB-space (or, rather, sources give different locations in RGB-space) but the article says that they occupy one point each. bobrayner (talk) 23:08, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
You have to understand how those colors at that site came about. The original sources were a large variety of color standards and resources of the mid-20th century. The names for these were gathered in a large “Dictionary” of color terms, and each color was matched to the nearby ISCC–NBS system categories. These categories each encompass a range of colors, defined in terms of the Munsell color system. The website has a not terribly good conversion of Munsell → RGB coordinates, and it’s not exactly clear how they decided what color to use as a representative for each ISCC–NBS category, or how they decided to do gamut mapping for colors which fall outside of RGB. If you ask me, using it as a source at all is fairly dubious, and should if nothing else be accompanied by caveats. Unfortunately, tracking down numerical coordinates for all the root sources can be somewhat tricky. With diligent library work, some of it is possible, but several of the sources were never comprehensively measured, and the nearest ISCC–NBS colors were decided by quick visual matches by the creators of the Color Dictionary. Hope that helps. –jacobolus (t) 16:29, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
Keep in mind, the purpose of the Dictionary was not to be an authoritative source on precise color specifications, but was rather supposed to give readers a rough idea of what color a term represented (all such terms have inherently fuzzy meanings), and help find other names for the same color. –jacobolus (t) 16:32, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
Agreed. You made that point more coherently than I could. bobrayner (talk) 10:29, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

Shades vs. variations again[edit]

Is there any point in reopening this discussion?

As a title for these articles, categories, and navigation templates, the precise or technical sense of shade is wrong. It makes each article look like it was written by an amateur who's never read paragraph one on colour fundamentals. Michael Z. 2012-04-22 18:56 z

Another sourcing issue[edit]

Hi all,
I think that we have a repeat of the problem. It appears that somebody has been adding RGB coordinates &c to colour articles, using as a source. However, the content on that site appears to have been scraped indiscriminately from elsewhere, including from some crappy made-up content on en.wikipedia which I removed a few months ago. For instance, this came from here. The last thing we want to do is reintroduce errors through to circular sourcing... bobrayner (talk) 11:08, 8 June 2012 (UTC)

Pretty much none of the color coordinates used as sources in Wikipedia meet the "reliable source" criteria. Unfortunately, it’s a lot of hard work to track down and convert colors from better sources. –jacobolus (t) 03:22, 9 June 2012 (UTC) also appears to have the same problem. That is, has some quirky colour names which we have/had here, with the same RGB values, which were originally obtained by an editor looking at a photo of a flower, or a Crayola. bobrayner (talk) 10:27, 9 June 2012 (UTC)
I tried asking where they got their content from - perhaps we could see a distinction between scraped and nonscraped - but the emails just bounced. bobrayner (talk) 17:39, 12 June 2012 (UTC)
Somebody's been reinserting more cute little color-boxes using as a source. Even if, for some bizarre reason, the community feels that we have to recreate the contents of various color catalogues across dozens of articles such as Variations of pink, the circular sourcing really ought to stop. bobrayner (talk) 18:27, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
@Keraunos: Please be careful which sites you select as references/citations/sources. and and are definitely not Reliable Sources (some of these pages look useful, but they're still not good references). Thanks. –Quiddity (talk) 18:59, 26 August 2013 (UTC)


A woman with tetrachromacy has been found. Can you add the information to the relevant articles? Thanks! -- (talk) 15:56, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Looks interesting; thanks for pointing it out! Alas the Daily Mail is deeply unreliable on science & medical matters so we should get hold of better sources... bobrayner (talk) 16:29, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Here is the original scientific paper. I just added it to the external links section of the Tetrachromacy article.

The dimensionality of color vision in carriers of anomalous trichromacy--Gabriele Jordan et al--Journal of Vision August 12, 2010: Keraunos (talk) 04:07, 8 July 2012 (UTC)

color redirects[edit]

I noticed common blue , Greenish Blue redirect to butterflies instead of colors. I find this a highly odd situation -- (talk) 06:02, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

Well, "Common blue" is a widely-used name of a very widespread butterfly, and I doubt other uses come anywhere near WP:PRIMARYTOPIC, so it seems reasonable enough to me; but Greenish Blue I'm less sure about. What do you suggest? A dab page? bobrayner (talk) 12:01, 22 December 2012 (UTC)
Yes, a disambiguation page would seem like a good idea. (also for "common" blue, since the shade/tone of blue considered regular or common blue, has changed over the years) -- (talk) 03:34, 23 December 2012 (UTC)

WP: Articles for deletion/Unique hues[edit]

Please, contribute. Incnis Mrsi (talk) 09:32, 17 January 2013 (UTC)

Color or Colour?[edit]

It strikes me as odd that every colour article i have seen is spelt color, rather than colour, except for Orange (colour). Is there any established consensus to uniform the names into all color or colour? It would make more sense than having 90%+ as color, and the remainder as colour. Opinions welcome. Thanks Jenova20 (email) 13:17, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

  • It depends on who creates the article. They can use either the spelling "color" or "colour", but after that, according to Wikipedia rules, everyone is supposed to use the spelling chosen by the person who initially created the article. There are actually a number of shorter color articles that do use the spelling "colour" instead of "color". Keraunos (talk) 04:14, 14 April 2013 (UTC)
I see. Thanks for the reply Jenova20 (email) 08:26, 3 June 2013 (UTC)
WP:ENGVAR is the guideline with the relevant advice, particularly the "Retaining the existing variety" subsection. –Quiddity (talk) 16:55, 3 June 2013 (UTC)
Just gives the impression that the article is US dominated. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:23, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

Pastel (color)[edit]

I was surprised to find that Pastel (color) was created only recently, and is a stub. Though I am not a member of this project, it seems to me that this color family merits inclusion in the navbox and an assessment of high importance, even though it is just a stub. Shawn in Montreal (talk) 15:48, 2 April 2013 (UTC)

Redirects to X11 color names[edit]

See​. Most of these are color names. IMHO it is not a good idea, unless a name is exceptionally clumsy or there are other reasons to associate it more with the X11 naming system rather than with a color it denotes. Incnis Mrsi (talk) 11:44, 10 June 2013 (UTC)

Food colorings[edit]

I find it surprising that the food coloring articles (e.g. Brilliant Blue FCF) have no color plate on them. Using, I found that the hex code matching this dye is #008c8c, but didn't see anyplace in the infobox to add it. Bob the WikipediaN (talkcontribs) 16:03, 7 July 2013 (UTC)

Not surprising. sRGB’s “hex codes” are generally a lie (see e.g. some recent discussions at talk: sRGB and some links from there), and especially they are a lie about all saturated cyan/blue colors (see this relevant discussion). The matter is even worse about substances where an ambiguity exists: a color of what? Surely of a scattered light? And if of a translucent light, then after a layer of which thickness? In short: sRGB’s “hex codes” is a very poor idea in the context of chemical infoboxes. Color spaces and chemistry are too distant to maintain a quantitative relation. Incnis Mrsi (talk) 16:31, 7 July 2013 (UTC)
I suppose with liquids, translucency does become an issue. However, it does seem there should be some graphical way to represent the "reddish blue" the article speaks of. Bob the WikipediaN (talkcontribs) 18:58, 7 July 2013 (UTC)
Why liquids? Gases are transparent (but some are colored), liquids have possibly the most diverse optical properties, and solids also have all three sorts: opaque, non-transparent translucent, and transparent. If I read about "reddish blue", then I will think about violet or purple. But if I saw and read about reddish blue, then I will conclude that these are colors of two different lights. Do not rely on .com websites, find scientific sources better, something with spectral data like is specified at Carmine #Properties and uses, for example. Incnis Mrsi (talk) 03:25, 8 July 2013 (UTC)

Color Names[edit]

What organization determined the name of the variety of colors? As you know, colors are differently named by companies in areas like paint, furniture, clothing and cosmetics. I know there are different color charts. It just seems like some company or person decided, "This is Floral White" and I'd like to know who that is for the main list of colors on Wikipedia. Thanks! Liz Read! Talk! 15:36, 23 August 2013 (UTC)


For the most part, it seems like the rule for standard colors is not to capitalize them, e.g. "red", "chartreuse". However, when preceded by a proper noun (like the name of an institution), there is inconsistency. The Crimson article, for example, has "IU Crimson" and "KU Crimson", but "Utah crimson" and "Harvard crimson". It seems that, if a particular color has been named and trademarked, then its trademarked capitalization method should be used, but otherwise not. Is this right? Are these university or other proprietary colors normally trademarked? Or should we just standardize on non-capitalization? I'll note that the {{Colort/Color}} template used in the list articles capitalizes each word of a color name for some reason. —[AlanM1(talk)]— 01:18, 2 December 2013 (UTC)


Hi all,

  • Over the years, we appear to have accumulated a lot of different ways of listing colours. For instance, we have list like Shades of purple, Shades of green &c which contains various specific shades; those shades are also listed in templates like {{Shades of green}} ; much of the ugliest content is duplicated in parent articles like Purple and Green; a similar array of coloured boxes fills the screen over at List of colors (compact); more lists of the same colours (but without sources) appear in three alphabetical lists like List of colors: A–F; and many appear in other meticulously-maintained lists like List of Crayola colored pencil colors or Web colors (the latter is also duplicated by its own navboxes and child articles).
  • Also, the individual entries in these lists have their own problems; terrible sourcing (sometimes even circular sourcing); notability; synthesis; copy pasted phrases and templates in stead of thoughtful prose; and so on.
  • Cleaning out trivia or poorly-sourced entries or dubious list members is a Sisyphæan task, because after the work is done, somebody else will see a gap in the framework and fill it with the same old problematic content. Navboxes still contain entries for individual articles (like Timberwolf (color)) which were AfD'd long ago.
  • So: I think the best solution is to take an axe to this big framework; cut it down to a smaller number of core articles, where it will be easier to nurture higher-quality content, and stop the clutter accumulating again.

What do you think? Comments / suggestions / complaints? bobrayner (talk) 02:32, 3 January 2014 (UTC)

I agree that there is duplication of entries in articles like Purple and Shades of purple. Those could be usefully merged. But historically, colors have been organized by many different schemes. A particular shade of purple could appear in a set of crayons, a Munsell color wheel, a Pantone color swatch, an X11 color list, CIE coordinates, etc. and it would be appropriate to list it in all those instances. So I don't see a compelling need to get rid of duplication stemming from entries occurring in multiple color lists. Some of the color lists don't need separate sourcing. Per MOS:LIST and WP:CLN, list-based articles consisting of tables of WP articles are fine--the sourcing for these entries is presumed in the articles themselves. In other cases, the entries may not be individually notable, but the set itself is notable; this is also OK (see WP:LISTN). I don't have any strong opinions about the templates, as I tend to ignore them. --Mark viking (talk) 05:53, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
To cut right to the chase, this project couldn't even agree on what color green is after days of honest debate, so now the shade of green displayed on Green is whatever the most recent random editor sets it to. You have the Rocks (every thing must be precisely defined by scientific standards and all that cannot be must be deleted, PERIOD, END OF DISCUSSION, the Hard Places (anything that has ever been mentioned anywhere must be included with a displayed color(s) with defined coordinates), and the ones caught between the Rocks and the Hard Places. I have suggested several compromises over the years, but all I ever got was deafening silence. One compromise would be to display representative colors clearly marked as "Representative" without any listed coordinates, while displaying colors with clearly defined coordinates (e.g. Pantone, HTML) as examples of the various presentation schemes. Until people can come to a basic agreement on how we display color samples in articles/templates/lists, I see little happening. My own view is that any color having a documented color name should be included with a "representative" color displayed. Just the other day, I read a magazine article which used the color name "terracotta". If I had not already know the color of terracotta tile, I would have had to look it up (today, that would be on Wikipedia instead of a dictionary) where I would expect to find a color displayed, otherwise it would be a waste of time to have looked it up.
Having said all that, I basically agree with Mark viking. In particular, per WP:CSC, individual items in a list do not have to be notable. I do however believe that WP:TOOLONG needs to be kept in mind when considering merging something like Purple and Shades of purple. VMS Mosaic (talk) 07:49, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
I believe that the main color articles should be kept separate from the articles on the shades. The main color articles describe the history, art, and science of the colors, and their role in culture, whereas the shades articles seem to me to be mostly catalogs of commercial paint tints, which I don't think really fit in the main articles. The article on purple, for instance, is designed for general readers, and got just short of 48,000 readers last month. The shades article seems to be more for color specialists or designers, and got a little over 15,000 views. I think merging the articles would make the resulting article much too long and of less interest to general readers. SiefkinDR (talk) 14:49, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
I was thinking that perhaps it would be better to merge in some of the templates. bobrayner (talk) 15:00, 5 January 2014 (UTC)

Popular pages tool update[edit]

As of January, the popular pages tool has moved from the Toolserver to Wikimedia Tool Labs. The code has changed significantly from the Toolserver version, but users should notice few differences. Please take a moment to look over your project's list for any anomalies, such as pages that you expect to see that are missing or pages that seem to have more views than expected. Note that unlike other tools, this tool aggregates all views from redirects, which means it will typically have higher numbers. (For January 2014 specifically, 35 hours of data is missing from the WMF data, which was approximated from other dates. For most articles, this should yield a more accurate number. However, a few articles, like ones featured on the Main Page, may be off).

Web tools, to replace the ones at tools:~alexz/pop, will become available over the next few weeks at toollabs:popularpages. All of the historical data (back to July 2009 for some projects) has been copied over. The tool to view historical data is currently partially available (assessment data and a few projects may not be available at the moment). The tool to add new projects to the bot's list is also available now (editing the configuration of current projects coming soon). Unlike the previous tool, all changes will be effective immediately. OAuth is used to authenticate users, allowing only regular users to make changes to prevent abuse. A visible history of configuration additions and changes is coming soon. Once tools become fully available, their toolserver versions will redirect to Labs.

If you have any questions, want to report any bugs, or there are any features you would like to see that aren't currently available on the Toolserver tools, see the updated FAQ or contact me on my talk page. Mr.Z-bot (talk) (for Mr.Z-man) 04:59, 23 February 2014 (UTC)

Shades or Variations? Weigh in[edit]

There is a mix of "Shades of X" and "Variations of X" and this discussion at Talk:Variations of brown#Survey and discussion aims to resolve the inconsistency in one direction or the other. Your opinions are welcome! Liz Read! Talk! 02:08, 22 March 2014 (UTC)

Could someone explain List of Colors in Color Order?[edit]

I'll admit this is one of the more visually creative lists I've seen on Wikipedia, but what does it actually mean? Is "Color Order" a formal, recognized system, or is it just an alphabetical list of colors that have names and/or wikicontent? --Animalparty-- (talk) 18:17, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

A color order system is just a synonym for a color space or a color model. As far as I know, there is no single "Color Order" system called as such. This list, while colorful, looks roughly alphabetical and so seems redundant with, e.g., List of colors (compact). --Mark viking (talk) 18:56, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

Discussion on what should be in lead of Green[edit]

See Talk:Green#How_big_should_the_lead_section_be_and_what_should_be_in_it.3F. Note that the same could be done with red, blue etc. Pondered whether to do this individually or as a group. Comments at green sought first and others we can think about (?) Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 04:20, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

Categories for colours[edit]

What is the intended difference between Category:Color and Category:Colors? Is there a reason to keep them as separate categories? John Tatebury (talk) 16:33, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

According Wikipedia:Categorization, singular categories are for topic categories, like Color itself, and plural categories are for set categories, like the List of Crayola crayon colors. But it looks like in practice, the separation is not that clean and the two cats could use some cleanup. --Mark viking (talk) 17:56, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

Portal:Color: basic failure[edit]

See Portal:Color. Its subheaders are colored black-on-green: A #008000. This fails contrast requirements per WP:ACCESS and W3C. And that doesn't surprise me at first glance. (checkable at [1]). Shouldn't we change that? -DePiep (talk) 07:53, 18 June 2014 (UTC)

I tweaked Portal:Color/box-header slightly. Is that better? PaleAqua (talk) 15:37, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
Yep. -DePiep (talk) 22:31, 18 June 2014 (UTC)

Comment on the WikiProject X proposal[edit]

Hello there! As you may already know, most WikiProjects here on Wikipedia struggle to stay active after they've been founded. I believe there is a lot of potential for WikiProjects to facilitate collaboration across subject areas, so I have submitted a grant proposal with the Wikimedia Foundation for the "WikiProject X" project. WikiProject X will study what makes WikiProjects succeed in retaining editors and then design a prototype WikiProject system that will recruit contributors to WikiProjects and help them run effectively. Please review the proposal here and leave feedback. If you have any questions, you can ask on the proposal page or leave a message on my talk page. Thank you for your time! (Also, sorry about the posting mistake earlier. If someone already moved my message to the talk page, feel free to remove this posting.) Harej (talk) 22:47, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

Expert attention[edit]

This is a notice about Category:Color articles needing expert attention, which might be of interest to your WikiProject. It will take a while before the category is populated. Iceblock (talk) 22:46, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

WikiProject X is live![edit]

WikiProject X icon.svg

Hello everyone!

You may have received a message from me earlier asking you to comment on my WikiProject X proposal. The good news is that WikiProject X is now live! In our first phase, we are focusing on research. At this time, we are looking for people to share their experiences with WikiProjects: good, bad, or neutral. We are also looking for WikiProjects that may be interested in trying out new tools and layouts that will make participating easier and projects easier to maintain. If you or your WikiProject are interested, check us out! Note that this is an opt-in program; no WikiProject will be required to change anything against its wishes. Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you!

Note: To receive additional notifications about WikiProject X on this talk page, please add this page to Wikipedia:WikiProject X/Newsletter. Otherwise, this will be the last notification sent about WikiProject X.

Harej (talk) 16:57, 14 January 2015 (UTC)

Non visible paint[edit]

Just posted a question on the main Wikipedia Science reference desk Wikipedia:Reference desk/Science which may be of interest...GrahamHardy (talk) 10:25, 3 February 2015 (UTC)


Discuss how big the lead should be and what should be in it at Talk:Blue#How_big_should_the_lead_section_be_and_what_should_be_in_it.3F - cheers, Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 11:03, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

WikiProject X Newsletter • Issue 3[edit]

Greetings! For this month's issue...

We have demos!

After a lengthy research and design process, we decided for WikiProject X to focus on two things:

  • A WikiProject workflow that focuses on action items: discussions you can participate in and tasks you can perform to improve the encyclopedia; and
  • An automatically updating WikiProject directory that gives you lists of users participating in the WikiProject and editing in that subject area.

We have a live demonstration of the new WikiProject workflow at WikiProject Women in Technology, a brand new WikiProject that was set up as an adjunct to a related edit-a-thon in Washington, DC. The goal is to surface action items for editors, and we intend on doing that through automatically updated working lists. We are looking into using SuggestBot to generate lists of outstanding tasks, and we are looking into additional options for automatic worklist generation. This takes the burden off of WikiProject editors to generate these worklists, though there is also a "requests" section for Wikipedians to make individual requests. (As of writing, these automated lists are not yet live, so you will see a blank space under "edit articles" on the demo WikiProject. Sorry about that!) I invite you to check out the WikiProject and leave feedback on WikiProject X's talk page.

Once the demo is sufficiently developed, we will be working on a limited deployment on our pilot WikiProjects. We have selected five for the first round of testing based on the highest potential for impact and will scale up from there.

While a re-designed WikiProject experience is much needed, that alone isn't enough. A WikiProject isn't any good if people have no way of discovering it. This is why we are also developing an automatically updated WikiProject directory. This directory will surface project-related metrics, including a count of active WikiProject participants and of active editors in that project's subject area. The purpose of these metrics is to highlight how active the WikiProject is at the given point of time, but also to highlight that project's potential for success. The directory is not yet live but there is a demonstration featuring a sampling of WikiProjects.

Each directory entry will link to a WikiProject description page which automatically list the active WikiProject participants and subject-area article editors. This allows Wikipedians to find each other based on the areas they are interested in, and this information can be used to revive a WikiProject, start a new one, or even for some other purpose. These description pages are not online yet, but they will use this template, if you want to get a feel of what they will look like.

We need volunteers!

WikiProject X is a huge undertaking, and we need volunteers to support our efforts, including testers and coders. Check out our volunteer portal and see what you can do to help us!

As an aside...

Wouldn't it be cool if lists of requested articles could not only be integrated directly with WikiProjects, but also shared between WikiProjects? Well, we got the crazy idea of having experimental software feature Flow deployed (on a totally experimental basis) on the new Article Request Workshop, which seeks to be a place where editors can "workshop" article ideas before they get created. It uses Flow because Flow allows, essentially, section-level categorization, and in the future will allow "sections" (known as "topics" within Flow) to be included across different pages. What this means is that you have a recommendation for a new article tagged by multiple WikiProjects, allowing for the recommendation to appear on lists for each WikiProject. This will facilitate inter-WikiProject collaboration and will help to reduce duplicated work. The Article Request Workshop is not entirely ready yet due to some bugs with Flow, but we hope to integrate it into our pilot WikiProjects at some point.

Harej (talk) 00:57, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

Pink and its association with springtime[edit]

See Talk:Pink#Springtime for discussion. ANDROS1337TALK 21:44, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

WikiProject X Newsletter • Issue 4[edit]

WikiProject X icon.svg
Newsletter • May/June 2015

Hello friends! We have been hard at work these past two months. For this report:

The directory is live!

For the first time, we are happy to bring you an exhaustive, comprehensive WikiProject Directory. This directory endeavors to list every single WikiProject on the English Wikipedia, including those that don't participate in article assessment. In constructing the broadest possible definition, we have come up with a list of approximately 2,600 WikiProjects. The directory tracks activity statistics on the WikiProject's pages, and, for where it's available, statistics on the number of articles tracked by the WikiProject and the number of editors active on those articles. Complementing the directory are description pages for each project, listing usernames of people active on the WikiProject pages and the articles in the WikiProject's scope. This will help Wikipedians interested in a subject find each other, whether to seek feedback on an article or to revive an old project. (There is an opt-out option.) We have also come up with listings of related WikiProjects, listing the ten most relevant WikiProjects based on what articles they have in common. We would like to promote WikiProjects as interconnected systems, rather than isolated silos.

A tremendous amount of work went into preparing this directory. WikiProjects do not consistently categorize their pages, meaning we had to develop our own index to match WikiProjects with the articles in their scope. We also had to make some adjustments to how WikiProjects were categorized; indeed, I personally have racked up a few hundred edits re-categorizing WikiProjects. There remains more work to be done to make the WikiProject directory truly useful. In the meantime, take a look and feel free to leave feedback at the WikiProject X talk page.

Stuff in the works!

What have we been working on?

  • A new design template—This has been in the works for a while, of course. But our goal is to design something that is useful and cleanly presented on all browsers and at all screen resolutions while working within the confines of what MediaWiki has to offer. Additionally, we are working on designs for the sub-components featured on the main project page.
  • A new WikiProject talk page banner in Lua—Work has begun on implementing the WikiProject banner in Lua. The goal is to create a banner template that can be usable by any WikiProject in lieu of having its own template. Work has slowed down for now to focus on higher priority items, but we are interested in your thoughts on how we could go about creating a more useful project banner. We have a draft module on Test Wikipedia, with a demonstration.
  • New discussion reports—We have over 4.8 million articles on the English Wikipedia, and almost as many talk pages as well. But what happens when someone posts on a talk page? What if no one is watching that talk page? We are currently testing out a system for an automatically-updating new discussions list, like RFC for WikiProjects. We currently have five test pages up for the WikiProjects on cannabis, cognitive science, evolutionary biology, and Ghana.
  • SuggestBot for WikiProjects—We have asked the maintainer of SuggestBot to make some minor adjustments to SuggestBot that will allow it to post regular reports to those WikiProjects that ask for them. Stay tuned!
  • Semi-automated article assessment—Using the new revision scoring service and another system currently under development, WikiProjects will be getting a new tool to facilitate the article assessment process by providing article quality/importance predictions for articles yet to be assessed. Aside from helping WikiProjects get through their backlogs, the goal is to help WikiProjects with collecting metrics and triaging their work. Semi-automation of this process will help achieve consistent results and keep the process running smoothly, as automation does on other parts of Wikipedia.

Want us to work on any other tools? Interested in volunteering? Leave a note on our talk page.

The WikiProject watchers report is back!

The database report which lists WikiProjects according to the number of watchers (i.e., people that have the project on their watchlist), is back! The report stopped being updated a year ago, following the deactivation of the Toolserver, but a replacement report has been generated.

Until next time, Harej (talk) 22:20, 17 June 2015 (UTC)