Legibility of Type in Colour – The Point of it All

This page is related to my text colour readability page, where by the use of sliders you can see the effect of coloured letters over different coloured backgrounds.
I wish to make it quite clear that in fumbling about with these experiments of text in one colour over a background of a different one, I am not aiming to produce any definitive guidelines.
No guidelines at all in fact as I am generally suspicious of guidelines, I see them for the most part as an attempt to block creativity.
What I am more trying to do is to simulate creativity, seeing how we can get the computer to help the human thought processes along.
Sometimes the human spirit can do that perfectly well, of course, without needing any help, but then sometimes . . .
For example the randomly-generated menu colours at the right of this page. They look pretty ugly and garish. Why?
There are plenty of colour-harmony suggestions around, but that is really answering a different question, for there is no reason why any one hue over any other one should be dis-harmonious, and there are plenty of examples where purple works fine with green, or with red, or with yellow - harmony of hues according to colour circles and so on must be a bit of a cop out.
It’ll be something to do with relative brightness levels I think? But what is that something? And why? It’s a puzzle I’ve been working on, on-and-off, for years, and seeing as no one else seems to be that gripped by it, I suppose I’ll have to keep working on it, on and off, for a few more years yet.

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