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Poll

dark or light background for programming?

Dark
17 (29.3%)
light
33 (56.9%)
I alternate
4 (6.9%)
I spend hours configuring my editor colors and change them with moon cycles
3 (5.2%)
What's a text editor?
1 (1.7%)

Total Members Voted: 58

Last post Author Topic: Do you use a light or a dark background in your editor for programming?  (Read 14656 times)

urlwolf

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Vote please...

J-Mac

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Re: Do you use a light or a dark background in your editor for programming?
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2007, 04:39:14 PM »
I definitely prefer black text on a white background, or at least something similar - very dark on very light!

I do think the dark backgrounds look really nice, but I just find that over a period of time - especially if I am working on something for hours on end - the light background with dark text is easier on my eyes.

That said, for some reason, way back in my WordPerfect 5.1 days, their standard white text on a medium blue background was kind of easy on my eyes also.  Supposedly, IIRC at that time, Corel had researched the eyestrain caused by looking at a monitor all day long and determined that the white on blue was the best.  However I never saw anything to back that up, so it may have been hogwash!

Of course the monitors we were staring at back then were a lot tougher in general to look at for long periods. I don't think they had the refresh rate that they do today.

Jim

tinjaw

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Re: Do you use a light or a dark background in your editor for programming?
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2007, 06:37:03 PM »
Mostly because it is the default. Although I sometimes make is a slight shade of gray. However, I imagine using light on a dark background is better for your eyes and have often wanted to try it for an extended period of time to see if it is, but I never seem to get around to actually trying it.

lanux128

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Re: Do you use a light or a dark background in your editor for programming?
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2007, 07:08:35 PM »
for me it's always black on white (background), any other way would blind me.. :)

lanux128

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Re: Do you use a light or a dark background in your editor for programming?
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2007, 07:09:59 PM »
Quote
I spend hours configuring my editor colors and change them with moon cycles
;D ;D ;D

Veign

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Re: Do you use a light or a dark background in your editor for programming?
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2007, 07:13:37 PM »
You should have an Other option: my color is r183 / g190 / b41

How do you like that color?

(by the way, I'm colorblind)

housetier

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Re: Do you use a light or a dark background in your editor for programming?
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2007, 07:24:26 PM »
it has to be dark, gray at least!

Attached I have a current screenshot of my desktop, showing xchat and vim. You can see I usually have lighter colors on a darker background.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2007, 07:27:30 PM by housetier »

Lashiec

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Re: Do you use a light or a dark background in your editor for programming?
« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2007, 07:57:28 PM »
A room filled with sunlight by day, and by my trusty desktop lamp by night is my tool :). So that means everything is black on white by default.

I'll look into the moon cycles and that, it's one more use for something as inutile as the Moon ;D

Gothi[c]

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Re: Do you use a light or a dark background in your editor for programming?
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2007, 08:01:20 PM »
You guys may want to check out this thread. ;)
« Last Edit: December 26, 2007, 08:03:51 PM by Gothi[c] »

f0dder

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Re: Do you use a light or a dark background in your editor for programming?
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2007, 08:03:12 PM »
Black on white, since it's the default. Big bother messing around if there's no predefined color schemes. I kinda like one of the light-on-dark schemes in VIM (I think it's called desert? yes it is, forum search for VIM desert worked :) ), but I never really learned to love VIM - can't be bothered.

That other thread I just linked is kinda related to this one, so it's probably worth a read if you're interested in this one.
- carpe noctem

Gothi[c]

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Re: Do you use a light or a dark background in your editor for programming?
« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2007, 08:04:57 PM »
That other thread I just linked is kinda related to this one, so it's probably worth a read if you're interested in this one.

I was first. :P

f0dder

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Re: Do you use a light or a dark background in your editor for programming?
« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2007, 08:10:08 PM »
That other thread I just linked is kinda related to this one, so it's probably worth a read if you're interested in this one.
I was first. :P
<spam>only because I wrote a lengthier post, involving having to do a search :P</spam>
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icekin

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Re: Do you use a light or a dark background in your editor for programming?
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2007, 02:37:37 AM »
White text on a black background, guess I'm in the minority then.

housetier

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Re: Do you use a light or a dark background in your editor for programming?
« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2007, 07:28:07 AM »
f0dder, which editor have you learned to love then? Maybe it has a desert color scheme too?

f0dder

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Re: Do you use a light or a dark background in your editor for programming?
« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2007, 07:39:20 AM »
f0dder, which editor have you learned to love then? Maybe it has a desert color scheme too?
"Learned to love" doesn't really apply to any editor I use, but Notepad++ does the job pretty well, and loads faster than VIM. Also, the source editor in Visual Studio is neat, especially when coupled with WholeTomato's Visual Assist (some options in the auto-complete category tend to get in my way, so I turn those off - but other are very nifty).
- carpe noctem

jgpaiva

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Re: Do you use a light or a dark background in your editor for programming?
« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2007, 05:28:42 AM »
Light on Dark, always :)

I use the asmanian2 theme for vim:
Screenshot-07_12_28,11_27_46.png

wraith808

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Re: Do you use a light or a dark background in your editor for programming?
« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2008, 01:54:10 PM »
Light on dark, of course.  You dark on lighters (hmmm... darklighters.  Where have I heard that before...) I can't figure out... the abundance of white blinds me... I severely dislike the theme for DC because of that... when I come here, I'm blinded for a few secs, LOL!

Warning... huge picture follows...

mydelphisettings.png
« Last Edit: January 11, 2008, 01:56:54 PM by wraith808 »

tranglos

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Re: Do you use a light or a dark background in your editor for programming?
« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2008, 02:52:23 PM »
Light on dark, of course.  You dark on lighters (hmmm... darklighters.  Where have I heard that before...) I can't figure out... the abundance of white blinds me... I severely dislike the theme for DC because of that... when I come here, I'm blinded for a few secs, LOL!

Fascinating. It just shows we see things differently :)

In your screenshot, the light grays are unreadable to me due to low contrast, I have to strain my eyes and they sink into the background. The white text, OTOH, produces a contrast that's much too high - it's readable but also headache-inducing.

I could live with the light grays, but only if using bold font, to add body to the character glyphs, and I would want to brighten them up a bit (though not to pure white).

In general, I cannot be comfortable with pitch-black backgrounds, since whatever text colors I use, the contrast is either too high or too low. Red on black or blue on black, as in some of the previously posted screenshots, is just illegible to me. I think that black tends to overpower the relatively thin squiggles of text, it seems to weaken all other colors, while white brings other colors out. Gaming sites - I can never read text on gaming sites, as they all tend to use black BG. Which, come to think of it, is probably a good thing!

On the other hand, pure white background blinds me as much as anyone. The first thing I do after reinstalling the sytem is reduce the whiteness. This is my default background, RGB 210/210/210:

2008-01-06_233734.pngDo you use a light or a dark background in your editor for programming?

Note the sparingly used syntax coloring. Apart from TextPad, the only editor I've found that lets me color the angle brackets but not their contents is EmEditor, and I love it that way. I use this color scheme everywhere, which means some funky looking websites, where the designers neglected to specify default BG color, producing a gray background with irregular patches of white. One of the easiest ways to tell crummy web design :)

And I experiment a little when using console tools. I avoid black, but also want the console to look different than regular windows (a nostalgic throwback to old-school monochrome monitors), so I've come up with these two schemes that work well for me:

My favorite shade of ink-blue:
2008-01-06_233624.pngDo you use a light or a dark background in your editor for programming?

And light gray on green is nicely legible, too, as Mouser noticed above:
2008-01-06_233555.pngDo you use a light or a dark background in your editor for programming?

(The font is Lucida Console bold)
« Last Edit: January 11, 2008, 02:56:01 PM by tranglos »

wraith808

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Re: Do you use a light or a dark background in your editor for programming?
« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2008, 03:13:58 PM »
That's the font I always use also... Lucida Console.  I would love to use the Raize font, but I can't get my editor to use it for some reason.  The gray isn't as bad as the white, but still a bit too bright for my tastes.  I use it sometimes, but darker than you still.

Dirhael

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Re: Do you use a light or a dark background in your editor for programming?
« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2008, 09:37:34 AM »
I usually go with light on dark, but not black. The contrast level has to be just right though, not to high and not to low.

The theme I'm showing in my screenshot is the one I've been using for the last year or so, and it has served me very well so far :)
Registered nurse by day, hobby programmer by night.

PPLandry

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Re: Do you use a light or a dark background in your editor for programming?
« Reply #20 on: January 12, 2008, 09:49:01 AM »
Having studied human vision for a couple years (in another life), it is always best to have an environment with similar light levels. Otherwise, the eye has to set its adaptation level which takes 30sec to 2 min to fully adapt (i.e. entering in a cinema). The same when going from dark to light

A dark background has a light level much lower than the rest of one's environment (desk, window, paper (also white), etc), so in such situations, the human vision will be in constant adaptation between the dark screen and the rest of the environment. Not ideal at all.

I work with black text on white, partly for this reason.
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Renegade

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Re: Do you use a light or a dark background in your editor for programming?
« Reply #21 on: January 12, 2008, 10:31:36 AM »
I use black on a white background. :(

I definitely prefer black text on a white background, or at least something similar - very dark on very light!

I do think the dark backgrounds look really nice, but I just find that over a period of time - especially if I am working on something for hours on end - the light background with dark text is easier on my eyes.

I wonder about this...

That said, for some reason, way back in my WordPerfect 5.1 days, their standard white text on a medium blue background was kind of easy on my eyes also.

I remember orange or green on black... ;)

Yeah. Monochrome was kind of blech!

Mostly because it is the default. Although I sometimes make is a slight shade of gray. However, I imagine using light on a dark background is better for your eyes and have often wanted to try it for an extended period of time to see if it is, but I never seem to get around to actually trying it.

Same here. I want to get other color schemes, but I just can't be bothered. Too much *unproductive* "work" there.

Anyone have anything easy to switch VS colors?

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f0dder

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Re: Do you use a light or a dark background in your editor for programming?
« Reply #22 on: January 12, 2008, 10:48:01 AM »
Anyone have anything easy to switch VS colors?
I think I saw an extension/add-in/whateveryoucallit, but can't remember if it was specialized wrt. colors or if it was just a settings import/export thing... and I never found any pre-made color schemes anyway :/
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johnk

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Re: Do you use a light or a dark background in your editor for programming?
« Reply #23 on: January 13, 2008, 05:47:34 PM »
Black on white or white on black give me headaches.

Way back when I had far too little to do, I experimented with background colours, and found that a gentle lemony yellow got rid of my headaches, brought  harmony to my life, and increased the chances of world peace:

emedcol.png

I'm now so used to this that I won't use a text editor if I can't vary the background colour.

f0dder

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Re: Do you use a light or a dark background in your editor for programming?
« Reply #24 on: January 13, 2008, 06:14:25 PM »
Hm, that's a very slight change - I can hardly tell it from bright white. I used to use a slightly yellowish color myself as well, something still bright but softer than 3x255... just haven't gotten around to that the last X years :)
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