My understanding is that around 2010 everything except IE (which still had issues) was Color Managed and displayed web images containing embedded profiles correctly.

Today (2015) all current browsers and major platforms themselves are all color managed.

Is that true or false?

Furthermore, common (not just super-expensive) displays now exceed sRGB. Is that correct?

Most information saying "use sRGB or else" that I find on the web is old. But there are still pages as late as 2013 that state "most web browsers have adapted sRGB as its color space, if you upload an image to the internet with the AdobeRGB gamut, the browser will convert it to sRGB, and it’ll do a terrible job at it, as shown below."

I think it is (now) more accurate to say that an sRGB image is sent by the browser to the OS which does a very compentent job of displaying it as best it can (at least based on stock hardware profiles for mundane users).

Does anybody know otherwise? Can I get a definitive answer on whether anything not terribly out of date doesn't handle AdobeRGB web images just fine?

Note: I'm not askimg for any kind of opinion. I'm looking for facts to support or contradict the "understanding" summarized here. What is the current state of affairs, really?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this seems better suited for superuser.com \$\endgroup\$
    – dpollitt
    Commented Jun 2, 2015 at 1:03
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ I'm torn... it does seem very relevant for post-processing of photographs designed to be shown via the Web -- which is, I think, a large majority of them. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Jun 2, 2015 at 1:12
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Even if colour management is used, the users' screen still needs to be profiled physically to guarantee being anywhere near correct. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 2, 2015 at 8:20
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I voted to close this as primarily opinion based. Aside from being based on a number of false assumptions (for example FireFox colour handling is still quite broken for some profiles IIRC.) It also doesn't address the fact that some systems strip out (or rather ignore) the colour profile. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 3, 2015 at 11:07
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @jamwssnell It is not intended to be opinion at all. I want hard facts: what works, what doesn't? "Works" is not an opinion but a defined specification. If you have information e.g. "some system does..." that's an Answer to ne posted, not a critisism on the question. Follow me? \$\endgroup\$
    – JDługosz
    Commented Jun 3, 2015 at 18:54

1 Answer 1

  1. Your understanding was incorrect. See this article from 2012.

  2. If you state this bluntly: "Today (2015) all current browsers and major platforms themselves are all color managed." - then this is incorrect. It requires

    • color management turned on (E.g. Win7 Basic mode turns it off),
    • color management steps have been done (video card/monitor supports it, they are calibrated regularly),
    • color is subjective - you have to control the viewing environment as well to say you have "color management".
  3. Color management is not just about color space, it is about reproducibility of color. So even if a monitor's color reproducibility extends sRGB, it must be time-invariant over some time. Most users simply change brightness/contrast on notebooks, monitors age, etc.

  4. AdobeRGB to sRGB conversion. Again, there are many factors. E.g. supported ICC profile level. See this link for example. E.g. my VMware environment with Firefox only shows ICC v2 support only. However, the same VMWare Windows environment shows PERFECT ICC v4 support in Internet Explorer.

In general: there is no color management IN BROWSERS. There is a decent attempt though.

(And the question is: what are you trying to solve? :-) )

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks. Note that things that make sRGB not show up right either is not an argument to not use other color spaces (that's what I'm categorizing). How is there "no color management in browsers" but only "attempt"? \$\endgroup\$
    – JDługosz
    Commented Jun 9, 2015 at 23:27
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ A color space has little to do with color management. Adoption of handling more and more color spaces in browsers is in progress, but the fact that the browser can open the file, can apply a profile conversion does not mean that you end up with the accurate colors. I can store images in L_(star)_a_(star)_b, and I can open it in Photoshop, but the fact that the program supports the format does not mean that it will show the proper colors. Color management has more to do with conversion and calibration between color spaces and not just with standalone color spaces. \$\endgroup\$
    – TFuto
    Commented Jun 10, 2015 at 11:20
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Re "there is no color management IN BROWSERS". Most browsers will read color profiles embedded in images like JPEGs and do necessary color space conversion, but usually this just means conversion to the browser's color space, usually sRGB, so you don't really gain any increase from using wider gamut images on web as they'll be clamped back to sRGB by browsers that support color profiles, and will appear incorrectly (desaturated) by browsers that don't. I'd echo the question "what are you trying to solve?". \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 12, 2015 at 0:29

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.