This for me is the crux of dark mode and is where this post falls flat: devices are just simply a different beast. They aren't newspapers or photographs, they are lamps with a color profile hotter than the Sun, and we should treat them differently. That's especially true of mobile devices, where being used before sunrise/after sunset is typical.
It's not the same, but it reminds me of how we think and talk about color (additive versus subtractive). Finger painting as a kid you learn that mixing the three colors — Red, Yellow, and Blue — makes black, but play with a computer and you'll learn that the three colors — Red, Green, and Blue — make white. It's a different system because, simply put, it's an entirely different system.
Strangely, the same can be true for plain old fashioned paper. The other day I was outside and had to look at a paper. Plain, white printed paper with black text. The bright hot sun reflected off of the paper and I couldn't see anything. A darker shaded advertisement however was easy to read.
So it's all relative. In my case I just prefer not to feel bright light blinding me, so I spend most of my time in dark mode editors/etc. My biggest complaint is that websites don't let me choose. I really wish OSs would start enforcing full dark or light modes as an accessibility feature. As I wright this, my HN screen is quite bright. I frequently flip between my dark editor and my bright Slack work screen. Those bright flips kill me.
On desktop I prefer black on white, on phone white on black - but I would generally prefer tuning both down to lower contrast than either OS or websites want to let me. On my laptop I have the darkreader addon that lets me turn contrast down. My phone gets to stick in inverted accessibility mode as a part measure that is the nearest I can get. :( I've never yet had a smartphone that let me set display as I'd like - either on Android or Apple.
The nicer hardbacks and art stock were often more a milky or creamy white, occasionally a more neutral hint of grey. Definitely much whiter than paperbacks, but I think most would be a few steps from the hard brilliant white most often seen now.
But broadly yes, until the advent of chemical bleaching in the 19th century basically all paper products were a light tan. Ditto for animal hide writing media
But you touch on something that makes this worse; I prefer a brighter screen when in dark mode, and a darker screen when in light mode. Again, a relative thing. This is why I want consistency, above all else.
Windows has had high contrast modes which do exactly this for decades. It permeates even web pages, though is no perfect there because--surprise!--few companies test with it.
Slack not having a dark mode is also a thing I don't understand.
If I go looking for an extension called "Stylish", will I find the original? Is it trustworthy?
Otherwise, you can customize the color profile to your liking.
Some addition things worth considering
Effective intensity of observed object (last I checked, paper isn't a mirror and doesn't reflect very well)
Frequency profile of the light being observed (cf light from the sun being imperfectly reflected vs lamp being reflected vs direct light source)
Ambient light around observed object which affects both stimulation profile of receptor region of eye AND pupil dilation
So yeah original emitter source isn't the only piece of this puzzle
Whether you're looking "at the lamp" or at a newspaper that reflects light, the end result is the same: photons hit your eyes.
No, I don't buy the green screen argument, any more than the randomness of paper being somewhat white and ink being in contrast to that. Certainly white on black is useful in astronomy, the stuff you are interested in is lit. This article was such a wall of text, I don't know if it ever supported its conclusion very well, which is ironic for an article promoting "productivity".
Not sure what this even means, sarcasm or not.
If the sun could be set in "low brightness", like a screen can (and ignoring infrared), then yes, you _could_ stare in the sun.
Screens should not be brighter than ambient light as a rule of thumb, i.e. if you hold a piece of paper next to your screen, the screen should not brighten up the paper. If it does, reduce brightness of your screen and/or turn up the light in your room.
So, a dark room is not an ideal working environment anyway.
I think it makes all the difference in the world.
Aside from power consumption, e-books and e-paper displays exist for this reason.
> Humans evolved outside, and we are generally active during the daytime and asleep when it’s dark.
The article is probably mostly right for some people.
Well said! VLC (at least on Android) has a day-night theme that switches between dark/light modes at sunrise / sunset. I wish more applications did the same.
It doesnt mean "screens are an entirely different system"