Non-developers probably won’t know who Eric Meyer is, but in my world, he’s a pretty big deal. He’s one of the biggest proponents and defenders of CSS, the language used to make websites look the way they do. It’s a fundamental aspect of web development, and without Meyer’s tireless advocacy, it wouldn’t be nearly as widespread, accepted, and developed as it is now. (And on a personal note, Meyer’s own writings were a significant help to me when I first started dabbling in CSS.)
Sadly, his six-year-old daughter Rebecca recently died from cancer, and he has chronicled the tragic, ongoing experience with incredible, heartbreaking honesty and bravery.
Last week, the CSS Working Group (which oversees the CSS specification) agreed to add “rebeccapurple” to the official CSS spec as a color name for the hex value #663399. Purple was his daughter’s favorite color. Originally, the goal was to use “beccapurple” but Meyer asked for the change because “Rebecca informed us that she was about to be a big girl of six years old, and Becca was a baby name.” And so he writes, “She made it to six. For almost twelve hours, she was six. So Rebecca it is and must be.” (I challenge you to read those words and not get a wee bit teary-eyed.)
This is one of my favorite comments on the addition: “Usually when I’m crying reading computer spec’s it’s out of frustration, not sadness and sympathy.” Indeed.