I'm not sure it's a genetic difference. I used to be in camp 1, despite trying Flux many times, but now I'm firmly in camp 2. The change for me was due to a change in working environment, and I imagine that's the difference for a lot of people: if you're in a brightly lit room anyway, then the colours becoming weird is just going to be irritating. If you're in a room with a lot of natural lighting, or trying to work on a plane or a bus, it might be different. Of course, either way, it's not suitable if you're doing colour-sensitive work or if you just want to watch a movie, but for reading or text-editing there's no real downside other than taste.
I think I speak for a lot of Flux users when I say that the point you really notice is when you're working late at night, and you turn off Flux after your eyes have acclimatised and all of a sudden you feel like you're in a tanning booth.
I have f.lux on my [jailbroken] iPhone 4S and my desktop.
On the desktop I like it simply because it helps automatically "dim" my display in the evening. I don't use much artificial light in my room [it's basically a mancave after 5:00] so a bright display with the standard color temperature is just an exercise in eye-strain.
I can't be bothered to adjust my brightness, contrast, and temperature manually every evening to avoid eyestrain. Since my monitor doesn't have programmable presets, f.lux definitely provides a great [automatic] solution.
On my iPhone it's actually more of an issue, I find myself disabling it frequently. I think this is mostly because I use my phone in a wide range of "lighting contexts." I might walk from the man-cave to a fluorescent-lit kitchen, and then I'll go out into an incandescent living room.
In my car, I find the low color temperature kind of difficult to read, so I'll usually disable it for road journeys. (It probably doesn't help that I have a dark OS theme and my navigation application has a dark blue "night time" mode that is also time activated.)
Might there be a way to sample white balance throughout the day to calibrate it using a webcam and a white sheet of paper? I'd probably start using it again if I could avoid fine tuning color temperatures manually.
Yes we have three implementations of this, and they mostly work but only some of the time :)
Problems: in a lot of dim rooms, the monitor is the main light source, and some webcams have terrible auto white balance. If you're on a Logitech camera it's totally easy, and if you're on a cheap netbook, it's awful. Still, you can solve all that, and we probably will ship a version of this soon.
That's great to know. I could probably turn the screen backlight off for a second while taking the shot. I'll play around with some shots from my camera to see how they vary. I'm looking forward to hearing more about these sorts of features!
I would take this a step further and say it happens when any project or software gets mentioned on HN. There are always two groups of people: Those who like it, and those who don't. Those who don't are usually composed of a lot of people who don't actually care, but just thrive on contradicting people.
I'd say it's more of a personality phenomenon, but acknowledge the possibility you present as well.
Part of the problem is the people who like it insist that everybody must like it and anybody who doesn't like it just doesn't get it. I don't get upset when people talk about things that made their lives better, I get upset when they make unqualified statements about my life.
Theoretically, we might only recognize about half of those contradictors at any one time.
If these theoretical contradictors are evenly distributed, spherical, and massless, then it seems natural that around 50% will be busy contradicting other contradictors, and writing well thought out and earnest posts about how great the software is.
One can only hope that they all get sent out into a vacuum.
It probably doesn't help that it has bugs. Sometimes my netbook will go through a horrifically jarring transition full of banding and a very obvious change in tone, it seems like sometimes flux gets a little stuck and then rapidly catches up.
Flux on my MBP is if anything even less predictable.
I also found when moving to my netbook to my MBP that I had to make very big changes to how much flux could change the colours - I have no idea what makes my previous settings so annoying on this computer, there's too many diferences between them to be sure.
On my MBP I completely ignore their recommended settings for lighting type. I picked the tone by adjusting the settings until it didn't feel like the light from my screen was physically attacking my eyes, which required a surprisingly small change in colour.
I don't think it's the slow setting. I tried it for a few months, and I did use the slow setting, but just found the washed out colors annoying. Regardless of the lighting in the room. I even tried forcing myself to keep it on for a couple of weeks straight, figuring I'd get used to it. No dice. It was usable enough, I just missed the colors and didn't really notice any difference as far as eyestrain.
Speaking of genetic differences, you see this same sort of split whenever "what music do you listen to while coding?" gets discussed here. Half the folks suggest music that makes them more productive. The other half say that any music at all distracts them to the point that they can't get anything done.
For anybody looking to correlate the two, I wrote the above and fall squarely into the "no music" camp as well.
Maybe we're just overly sensitive to any intrusion on our concentration. (I also prefer nobody throw hamburgers at me while coding, so there's a 3rd datapoint.)
For people who light affects their sleep fall generally fall into two camps: those that are oversensitive to light, and those that are undersensitive to light. For the former, (as an extreme example) a flashlight might prevent them from feeling tired (since their body feels like it's day time); whereas for the later, you can shine a tungsten movie light on them and they won't wake up (I think I'm the later---I can easily sleep during the day).
I'm not sure there is much correlation between the two, at least in my case.
I fall squarely into the "no music" camp, and have since I was a child where music during study would drive me crazy. Music while coding is just a distraction to me.
However, I really love F.lux/Redshift. One of the most relaxing and productive things for me is to work in a dim or dark room with the display shifted to a fairly low color temp. By contrast, during the day I prefer fairly high contrast, using the VividChalk theme in Vim. In the past I would switch to a lower contrast theme like OceanDeep, but never found one to work well with red hues yet, which I prefer in dim light (partially as a throwback to old amber monitors.)
As a side note, I will agree with everyone saying the automated time based shifts are annoying. I usually find myself pausing or disabling it. Having it triggered off ambient light levels is the logical way, imho.
I also prefer nobody throw hambmurgers at me while coding, but if they want to toss them onto the corner of my desk for later consumption, I won't complain...
Half the people in my office leave their laptop display at about 50% brightness all day. It drives me crazy -- I always want to go over and turn it all the way up. I like my monitors BRIGHT, but others say it bothers their eyes. You might be right...
That's kind of funny. I personally can have real issues with bright displays. Only in very light sun lit offices, I don't mind the brightness being up. When at home in the bat cave, I far prefer dimmer light. Some days my eyes are more sensitive, or perhaps getting used to dimmer displays make you more sensitive to bright ones.
I used to use the transparant filter with compiz, just to take the edge of some glare/brightness. I even tried a sepia/monochrome filter with some success. There was an error with compiz and my system, so had to give up on it.
Then I tried a light on dark theme. As I find the terminal comfortable, but I feel you need to match it across your desktop - otherwise it's jarring. That is going from light on dark to dark on light.
It seems support for darker themes is buggy at best on Linux. To the point that recently I had to undo my dark theming just because I need regular access to one spreadsheet.
Now I have a halfway house, browser is setup for light on dark, and the rest of my desktop is greyish. Still buggy though, something as simple as Google's search box is unuasable because I've a dark font on a dark background. And so it goes on.
I might give flux a go. I've installed redshift on XFCE - but it's not currently working. Edit: okay it took like 2mins to get it up and running. Not sure what to make of it. Will see.
I've got quite used to a light on dark them though to overcome brightness issues.
I think the people in group 1 didn't set F.lux up correctly. Twenty seconds is too short of a transition time.
If the same people are complaining about paper and other objects having the "wrong" colours at night, you might be onto something. I think that's highly unlikely though and I see little reason to seek a genetic explanation.
I live in London and I have my location set to Recife, Brazil. That way I get 'sunset' around 9pm in the winter - late enough to let me continue working on a bright screen, but early enough to not blast blue light before going to bed.
The point for me is not so much matching the environment but not staring at a blue screen right before bed.
I'm definitely in the latter camp, though my working day starts at 6:00 AM and the softer, warmer light in the early (still dark) morning is much nicer than the harsh blue of a normal display. Interestingly, by the time the screen colour adjusts back to normal (variable based on time of year), I'm happy to see it adjust as well. Best of both worlds, as it were.
I've simply never been able to get used to the colours. When I bought my last MacBook I noticed that the brightness at even the lowest level is far too bright for usage just before bed. I ended up buying a 99c app on the MAS called Screen Shade that pretty much just overlays a transparent black over your entire screen. The first night I used it I thought 'well, this was pretty crap' but I've used it pretty much daily since. At night I slowly turn the brightness down and eventually switch screen shade on and adjust down as my eyes get used to it. It works amazingly well and skips the colour part. I realise that flux is probably better for my eyes, but I've never found myself in the habit of using it, whereas Screen Shade made it's way onto the new MacBook almost instantly.
Bordering on group 2 I can't say if it helps or not because I've never had any problems with my eyes. But I have not experienced any hate-issues towards it so I have left it installed on all my computers just in case.
In some WWII submarines, the sleeping room lined with bunks for the bulk of the staff, the lighting is red. Why? Because you can sleep in it easily -- it's always just red in that room because there are some day and night shifts even on a sub.