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I disagree about insertions and deletions. The primary purpose of colors should be to communicate more information without us having to think about. Having standard color schemes is really helpful. If every service uses different insertion/deletion colors, that's just more headache for us.

Additionally, to me, red deletion doesn't mean "this was a bad action". It means "this was bad code, so we're crossing it out". Semantically, that makes total sense to me. Red is bad old code, green is new good code. Seeing a lot of red in code means the same to me as seeing a lot of red on a marked up copy of an essay (as long as it wasn't a professor who marked it up) -- I've identified a lot of improvements to make.




These were also my thoughts when reading the article. I have always associated red with old and green with new. I also do not think red conveys the negative meaning the author suggests it does.

I do, however, believe the author has a very strong argument relating to code comments. I'd like to see a shift towards this style of highlighting in the future as I often find myself having to modify nearly every colour scheme I use to make comments far more prominent.


I think the bigger problem with using red and green for commit changes is for the folks that are red/green colorblind.


Red/Green colorblind doesn't mean we don't see red and green, it's just not as powerful. It should read Red/Green deficient. Maybe that is why it doesn't seem so bad because to a Red/Green colorblind person the colors are more subdued.


I do realize this. I also know someone that has had problems with it on github's diffs. I do think it would be better to use other colors to avoid the issue entirely.


I don't think this should be in the application. It's a monitor or OS issue. Couldn't we just use a color calibration matrix to map all colors to the spectrum the colorblind person does see?


That's a really interesting idea. You'd want a fast toggle for it, so that you could use it primarily for browsing semantic content that uses colors, but not always for photographs or videos that represent the real world (unless those photos or videos contained such semantic content). It's not ideal, but much like assistive devices that translate vision to other nerve impulses (http://www.nei.nih.gov/news/briefs/weihenmayer.asp), it could be useful as a learned adaptation.

That said, it would also make sense for diff software in particular (as one of the most prominent software uses of red and green right next to each other for semantic purposes) to have an easily adjusted option for a different color scheme for the very common case of red/green colorblindness.


So you propose that colorblind people should make their OS turn all images, photographs and video into false color not correlating with reality because in some specific contexts color is used symbolically and it's important to distinguish between two colors? One option that might work would be a special drawing mode implemented in the OS graphics stack that did some mapping depending on what's configured in the accessibility settings; then applications could request that in the rare cases where it's important.


As a partially colorblind person (albeit easily capable of telling red from green here), while of course such a mode should not be required for programming, I wouldn't mind using it in general. The EnChroma glasses try to do this in real life, but they're expensive and only work in bright sunlight; if I can at least get the same for photos just by downloading something, it sounds interesting. (And probably already exists, so I should do some Googling.)


Do you map a 3D scene into 2D without any information about which aspect of the scene is important?


That's not the same. When you go from 3D to 2D you lose a dimension. Information is lost. When you map color spaces like I proposed you go from 1D to 1D, you're just compressing the data in that dimension. No information is lost (except because of the limits of numerical accuracy)


Which is weird when you think about it. red/green colourblindness is way more common in men and tech is quite male dominated.


It still work if you use different brightness for each color. Being colorblind doesn't mean you see red as white.


This is precisely why Wikipedia switched diffs from red/green to orange/blue.




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