Interestingly it’s a huge improvement for me. I seem to be much more focussed. It’s also really pleasing to look at code now.
Did you have similar experiences? In which colours do you program?
I tried switching to the white background for a week, but it really hurt my eyes. I had to switch back after a few days.
Could you elaborate more on your situation? Did you always use a dark background? What are the conditions around where you code?
Light grey on black for me is still too hard to see. I prefer pure black and white. On the Windows Command Prompt, I set the default color to 0F instead of the default.
My concern is not so much with a dark/light scheme, but with color contrast.
Currently, I use Vim with a dark colorscheme ('desert') and I love it. My friend, Aaron, also uses a dark colorscheme.
However, my other friend, Brian C., has an affinity for light backgrounds. Whenever I show him code on any dark colorscheme, his first response is to make it white. Then again, that is his normal setup; that is what he always deals with.
I like it a lot!
IMO, colored code makes the process much more fun. I'm not sure if it makes me more productive though, but I wouldn't rule it out.
Small screenshot: http://photos-f.ak.fbcdn.net/photos-ak-snc1/v2102/219/106/34...
If it weren't for syntax highlighting, I'd prefer slight color variations, with not much preference towards dark-on-light or light-on-dark. If I have a lighter background I usually prefer the text to be black. If I have a darker background I usually prefer the text to be slightly colored. In web terms, an example would be "99DD99" text on "303030" background, or "99DD99" background with black text.
I also can't stand it if the syntax highlighting is too colorful. I like some coloring for reserved words, type names, comments, and string literals. Other than that black on white.
What I find more important that color schemes is having a nice font. If you're on Windows, and not using Consolas, you're missing out big time. Consolas is actually designed to look good with sub-pixel rendering. If you can't use Consolas, Bitstream Vera Sans Mono is a nice second.
- dark means "brain: use vim keys" (:colo darkblue)
- light means use arrow/CUA keys, a la most "normal" applications.
EDIT: Upon further investigation, I believe this color theme originated from http://blog.infinitered.com/entries/show/6 .
Also, overhighlighting kills my ability to focus - I use at max. 4 colors
10 years later and i'm now using openbsd on a laptop and typing in an xterm instead of a vt510, but i still only use bold/underline/reverse in all of those terminal apps. however, i did switch from grey text on a black background on the vt510 to black text on a white background in xterm, but that's probably just because it's the default on openbsd.
Maybe I should switch to dark - it is a bit nicer on the eyes I think.
Edit: Switched over Textmate to a dark theme, and I am glad for the reminder. I don't know why on this new machine I didn't have it set that way!
Java - white (Eclipse)
Python - Black (gedit)
Lisp - White (emacs)
Ruby - White (TextEdit)
C/C++ - Black (gedit)
I have noticed that certain text editors have dark themes I like, whereas other dark themes just hurt my eyes. I have no true preference, only what I am used to.
Very easy to read. And not boring.
Easier on the eyes, plus it happens to be what I'm used to.
If I SSH into a remote machine, I'm still in my normal environment. Another reason I use VIM as well. If I need to get fancy, I can SCP my .vimrc in as well.
I remember making the switch, at first I was shocked. By now, I'm completely used to it.
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