Above is a linear gradient rendered by your browser between two immediately adjacent shades of gray. If you don't see the step, hover over the box to see a hint. Warning: once seen, it cannot be unseen!Although a gradient over a tight color-space is useful for this illustration, the problem is evident in many gradients. You can even see the stepping in the background of this blog entry. The steps can become especially visible when the content moves, such as when you use the vertical scrollbar.Frustrated by the 15-some-odd years of color depth stagnation, I even submitted a Firefox feature request at Mozilla asking for a dithering algorithm to be added to the gradient rendering. Dithering should be familiar to anyone who used computers in the 80s and early 90s when you only had a few shades to work with. It helps compensate for a shallow color depth.And 24-bit is undeniably shallow in 2012. We deserve Deep Color on desktops. 24-bit color sucks. Before the iPhone 4 and iPad 3 demonstrated that fanatics pushing for high-density displays were righteous in their fight, many rationalized the prevailing indolence of the display industry as good enough. Now that "Retina Display" has entered popular vernacular, those same people realize low-density was not, in fact, good enough. They won't go back to the iPad 2. What a piece of junk.With high-DPI displays, the aliasing problem caused by insufficient pixels has been nearly extinguished. Finally. (At least on some devices; desktop displays still desperately need attention.)Similarly, deep color would help address yet another aliasing problem: insufficient color clarity and accuracy.We can spare the bits! Modern GPUs come with two gigabytes of on-board memory. That's enough to store 268 million 64-bit pixels. Do you have a display with 268 million pixels?If so, I envy you.
Horizontal gradient from #484848 to #494949.
If you can't immediately see the step, hover in this box to reveal a visual guide line.