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Color Laboratory Acknowledgments and History

This tool would not exist if not for the contributions of various individuals. Hopefully the future will bring additional contributions as those who use the color laboratory find ways to enhance its utility. (Note that this page does not replace our copyright, license, and disclaimer information.)

Bob Stein and VisiBone

I had long been aware of and their quality printed color references, designed specifically for webmasters. In early 2001, I discovered their colorlab and began using it to construct web site color schemes. Bob Stein, proprietor of VisiBone, had developed this tool and received contributions from many users by the time I encountered it. (For those credits, please read the source of the original colorlab.)

In March of 2001 I downloaded the colorlab and began adding features here and there, and tailoring the tool to my personal preferences. I contacted Bob to request his permission, and offer my code modifications. He readily gave me permission. I kept tweaking and my copy as ideas came to mind. The underlying interface efficiency of Bob's original design was maintained as much as possible.

Thomas Wolfmaier and HCIRN

Near the end of March I came across an article by Thomas Wolfmaier which provided a look-up table to find simulated color-blind versions of web-safe colors. I adapted that table to allow the color laboratory to simulate color-blind perception. At that time, I handled non-web-safe colors by using the nearest web-safe color to look-up a value.

I wanted to eliminate the look-up table and allow more accurate simulation of non-web-safe colors, so I asked Thomas if he would share the math he used to develop the table. Not only did he share the spreadsheet he used, but he also sent me code for a Java applet, and gave me access to the Human-Computer Interaction Resource Network website where I was able to learn more about the color space transformations involved in the simulation process. Thomas also credits a usenet post by Chris Lilley outlining a general algorithm for simulating color-blind perception.

The HTML Writer's Guild and AWARE Center

It began to dawn on me that my personal copy of the color laboratory was growing into something that could benefit a much larger audience. After checking with Bob Stein and Thomas Wolfmaier, I asked Kynn Bartlett, as Director of the AWARE Center, if he might be willing to host this tool where accessibility-minded web designers would be able to find it and use it to improve the web for color-blind users everywhere. Kynn and the Governing Board of the HTML Writer's Guild agreed.

Matthew Wickline

That's me. I'm the guy who didn't come up with the idea for the color laboratory and didn't develop the original color-blind simulation code, and isn't using his own cycles and bandwidth to host the darned thing. ;)

I've re-written nearly every line of javascript from the original colorlab, ported Thomas' color-blind simulation spreadsheet into perl, and then into javascript, added oodles of additional functionality (and removed some as well), wrangled the code until it worked acceptably in a fair number of web browsers, and documented the whole mess. I claim credit for any bugs you might find.

Your Name Here

As you can see, I did not do this on my own. I invite you to join in the fun and send me any improvements you might come up with. You can reach me at If you'd like to help, but aren't sure where to begin, I am particularly interested in the following:

To help you help me (and every color laboratory user), please find the current TODO file (todo.txt), the list of changes in all previous versions (changes.txt), and all of the source files used in this tool (colorlab.tar.gz).

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