Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Seeing Colors when Colorblind, and an Admonition on Bug Reports

Here's a site that lets you fix your color presentations so the colorblind can see them, too.

Many folks don't realize that 8% of northern-European, white males are red-green colorblind. One in thirteen.

When I worked for a printer company, I tried to persuade them to make a color space that would transform images in the way this site does, but didn't make any headway. With frequencies like that, I figured we could make sales just by showing large-company CIOs the results. Once in every dozen or so, we'd get a guy who said, "At last!"

A former co-worker, Gary Stormo, got so fed up with presentations he couldn't follow that he made his point in a talk he was giving about his research. He put up a complicated graph, with half a dozen lines, all the same color, and said, "The red line shows ...."

I pointed some of my friends at "Daltonize," and Tom Schneider immediately found and reported a bug.
Here's his note.

Unfortunately, the image, which accompanies this post, bounced because their mail system decided it was too big.

Always make your mail system limits big enough to accept bug reports.
Dear Vischeck:

I tried your nice Daltonize program at

and was surprised one time to get the top two images from some other image, while the bottom two were from my image.

Looks like a bug where your system got the images confused.

Since this doesn't always happen I assume it means that two requests can end up in the same image space sometimes if they are made nearly at the same time. My guess is that this will be easy to fix in your code.


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My Dad was red/green colorblind. I'm not, but more importantly, neither of my sister's sons are. Stamped that sucker out! He seemed more annoyed than angry about the condition; red traffic lights were "brighter" than green, but the same "color". Luckily, in most places the "red" is bigger and/or at the top. Occasionally, Mom would remind him, "red". Fascinating product - you'd think 1 in 13 would be a large enough slice to interest color-related companies. Love Stormo's demo.