Sorted CSS colours

Sometimes it’s the simplest ideas, right?

Those that know me from a web development perspective know how much I love CSS. Here’s another simple tool to add to my design toolbox.

Sorted CSS Colors [sic] by Mustafa Enes Ertarhanacı is an elegant tool to sort the named CSS colours in a way that shows related colours together. And that’s it.


Incidentally, the middle colour shown above is called “rebeccapurple”. Every modern web browser supports it. It has a hex value of #663399 but its value to the web community is much more than that.

Eric Meyer is an American web developer, author and champion of CSS standards. I have more books about CSS by him than I have by anyone else. He has done more than anyone I know to promote and educate people about CSS. If you are interested in learning more about CSS then read his blog, buy and read his books—you will learn a lot and not just about web technologies.

On 7 June 2014, Eric’s daughter Rebecca died of a brain tumour on her sixth birthday. On his blog, I followed the story as it unfolded (and beyond as he continued to write about the process of grieving as a parent). That he shared such an intimate and heartbreaking journey is testament to his openness and grace. I had never met either Eric or his daughter but at my desk at work, as I read the news, I sat and wept.

Two weeks later, on 21 June 2014, the CSS working group posted this message:

Following a proposal sent to social media, it is suggested to add the named color ‘rebeccapurple’, for value #663399, to CSS Color Level 4. This is a tribute to Eric Meyer’s daughter who recently passed away and a mark of support from all the Web community to Eric. I requested to ping Eric to be absolutely sure he is ok with this; he responded “he was honored by the gesture, and would love to accept it”.

CSS Working Group

I love that this small memorial is embedded into the hearts of every browser.

The funny thing is, I had a friend called Rebecca who died in 1995. She loved purple too. I always think of her too whenever I see color: rebeccapurple in any CSS code. Rest in peace beautiful Rebeccas.

Published by

Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 52 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Enneagram type FOUR and introvert (INFP), I am a non-stipendiary priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir, play guitar, play mahjong, write, draw and laugh… Scrum master at Safeguard Global; latterly at Sky and Vision/Cegedim. Former web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and previously warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall.

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