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Author Topic: Inverse filter for white windows  (Read 5971 times)

cool-RR

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Inverse filter for white windows
« on: April 05, 2014, 06:35:03 AM »
Hi,

I love using my computer with a light-on-dark theme. This is much more pleasant to my eyes than the all-too-common dark-on-light theme found on most programs and websites.

However, some programs don't allow you to define a light-on-dark theme. My main culprit is Chrome, who, while it does allow you to define a dark theme and even make websites dark, does show an annoying white screen for ~5 seconds when a site is loaded, which really hurts my eyes.

I want a program that does the following thing: Whenever I'm using any program, I can invoke a keyboard shortcut to activate it. Then, it'll constantly sample the pixels in the window of the active program. If these pixles go over a certain threshold of average brightness, it puts an inverse filter between the program and the screen, so dark colors appear bright and bright colors appear dark.

When the program starts sending mostly dark pixels again, the filter is removed.

Is it possible to make such a program? The part I'm most worried about is the inverse filter, I don't know whether that's possible.


Thanks,
Ram.

mouser

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Re: Inverse filter for white windows
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2014, 06:46:00 AM »
this would be a very hard thing to make work robustly.. my best advice is to avert your eyes while chrome loads, or get sunglasses :)  or maybe find an alternative browser?  or make a custom version of chrome :)

MilesAhead

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Re: Inverse filter for white windows
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2014, 09:08:14 AM »
When I used Fractal Flames as wallpaper it made windows white backgrounds seem like glare.  I think you can change the default windows background color using this registry key:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\Colors\Window

set it to decimal RGB values separated by commas.  The default value should be
255,255,255

Unfortunately it doesn't change the Explorer window background color.  But I seem to remember using chromium at the time and it working with that.

A good idea to use ERUNT and/or make a restore point before changing the Registry though.



cool-RR

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Re: Inverse filter for white windows
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2014, 05:23:38 PM »
Hi MilesAhead,

That doesn't help me much... Chrome is my main target, and its white color comes not from any Windows setting but from its WebKit engine. (I tried hard to solve it from that angle, but failed.)

MilesAhead

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Re: Inverse filter for white windows
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2014, 07:16:46 PM »
If you set chromium background color to something subdued, but have default white as the window background color in the registry, I believe you will get a bright flash of white before the chromium setting kicks in.  At least that's how I remember it.

c.gingerich

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Re: Inverse filter for white windows
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2014, 07:43:58 AM »
Take a look at f.lux. It dims your screen to make it easier on the eyes. Works well IMO. http://justgetflux.com/
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JoTo

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Re: Inverse filter for white windows
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2014, 08:28:30 AM »
Hi cool-RR, (a.k.a. bro in mind),

i'm visually impaired and MUST HAVE light on dark theme. dark on white theme renders unreadable for me because i got blended.

I am doing an everlasting fight with pc and android developers to convince them to offer color customization and/or a dark theme. Cant count the endless amount of emails i wrote already.

I have not found a solution yet. Well, i use Magnifying Glass Pro that can have a screen magnification of 1x for a full screen and applying an inverse (beside some other) filters. It also offers an hotkey or even automatic activation/deactivation of the filter (e.g. when your mouse enters the window or leaves it). But that wont help you much, because you just want a filter that only lasts for some seconds and not all the time.

So i am out of help, but its good to know that i'm not need to feel like an alien because i just like (or in my case need) a dark background with bright font color.

Greetings
JoTo

TaoPhoenix

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Re: Inverse filter for white windows
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2014, 10:03:57 AM »
...
However, some programs don't allow you to define a light-on-dark theme. My main culprit is Chrome, who, while it does allow you to define a dark theme and even make websites dark, does show an annoying white screen for ~5 seconds when a site is loaded, which really hurts my eyes.

I want a program that does the following thing: Whenever I'm using any program, I can invoke a keyboard shortcut to activate it. Then, it'll constantly sample the pixels in the window of the active program. If these pixles go over a certain threshold of average brightness, it puts an inverse filter between the program and the screen, so dark colors appear bright and bright colors appear dark.
...

I got really close to this using themes for Windows via Firefox (because it's what I have the most experience with, I couldn't find the dark themes for Chrome before starting to run out of time for this).

So the basic idea is you can play with having two alternate themes which you toggle with at (for XP) RClickDesktop/Properties/Themes. So then you set the open window colors to be something dark with light text fonts. Then at least on Firefox when I set the dark theme there's a setting that you *uncheck* that says "allow websites to choose their own colors".

If I'm guessing right, you really don't want *true* inverse colors, aka "the opposite of yellow" = some gawdawful color. So my tip revolves around "subdue rather than flip". I also think f.lux is interesting. I had forgotten about it.

Then if you want white colors back, in Windows you have that second (maybe default) theme you just flip back to. It might take a few clicks, aka not as fast as a pure "hotkey" and not as "dynamic" as your original post. But fiddle around with that stuff, because in my half hour of playing I didn't get a single "white" page loading in Firefox when I had all the settings tweaked. (Just because all of this stuff could take a couple hours to ruthlessly optimize, I used dark grey as my test.)

Holler if any of our stuff helps!


cool-RR

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Re: Inverse filter for white windows
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2014, 05:27:46 PM »
Regarding f.lux: I've been using it for years. It's good. But it doesn't help here. (It does make the white color a bit more bearable, but I need more.)

Regarding Windows themes: I already use an awesome dark theme for Windows 7 that I made. It's great. But the theme has little to do with this case. The theme has no effect on the page color in Chrome.

JoTo: I'm happy to find another fanatic of dark backgrounds :) If you use Chrome, I recommend the Hacker Vision extension.

I still hope that someone could come up with a solution for me...

TaoPhoenix

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Re: Inverse filter for white windows
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2014, 06:16:54 PM »

Regarding Windows themes: I already use an awesome dark theme for Windows 7 that I made. It's great. But the theme has little to do with this case. The theme has no effect on the page color in Chrome.

JoTo: I'm happy to find another fanatic of dark backgrounds :) If you use Chrome, I recommend the Hacker Vision extension.

I still hope that someone could come up with a solution for me...

Heh I used to love Red on Black (I called it "Alien Computer") and Green on Black (The Matrix). But somewere along the line I "got boring" and went back to White...

I can tell almost when I switched because my first NANY had options for all those themes! (And "Commodore 64"!)

Okay, I'll look some more on this.

TaoPhoenix

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Re: Inverse filter for white windows
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2014, 07:07:10 PM »
Ask yourself if you're so desperately in love with Chrome/Chome-Clones that you cannot fill your other important need in Firefox. (After all rumor is it they are moving more towards Chrome in UI!)

In the Browser Wars, back when I just stopped being a Newbie, I had to pick a browser, and for all its minor faults about memory usage etc, FF/related won hands down for being the most extendable for "rare" custom needs like yours.

The crux is there is a key setting in FF that you *uncheck* that says roughly "allow page to pick its colors". To me that seems the key #1 to what you need. Then Key #2 is that a "Windows theme" is pre-picked, but *you make your own and save it somewhere*. Just to avoid a wall of text, I'll stop there and stay simple and post some screen shots to suggest my idea.

In my quick test, at no time (With Caveats! Ask me about C&C!) when "all the horsepower is turned on" did a truly "white" page appear while loading, which paraphrasing a software engineering spec "is what I think the requirement was".

I DID find an example where these sites that use these nasty Javascript slides and pops can try to use light colors, but that's Level 2 that we can get into later. To stay simple, see if these fit your bill.
Then the point is you have TWO themes (or three!?) and when you "want to turn off the lights" you switch on "Dark" and when you can handle the white you switch it back.

My rough point is it sounds like your light needs are pretty serious so some of the eyecandy seriously drops off, but that can only make nothing but sense if you view a special form of a website that isn't what the designer thought about. But if the text is there, and the links work, then I think you might "settle for a draw".

In my rough concept:

DC
LightOnDarkTest1 DC.pngInverse filter for white windows

Slashdot
LightOnDarkTest1b Slashdot.pngInverse filter for white windows

Chessbase (with a medium light popup)
LightOnDark Test2 Chessbase Popups.pngInverse filter for white windows
« Last Edit: April 08, 2014, 07:29:38 PM by TaoPhoenix »

cool-RR

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Re: Inverse filter for white windows
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2014, 05:56:53 AM »
Thanks for weighing in TaoPhoenix. Unfortunately I love Chrome and I wouldn't want to switch to Firefox.

TaoPhoenix

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Re: Inverse filter for white windows
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2014, 04:02:48 PM »

I got pretty close even on Chrome with the combination of tricks I was talking about, but Chrome just blinks a white page before it remembers it's supposed to be using a theme. The best case I found was a Chrome theme called Hackervision but there are glitch spots.

Sorry!


MilesAhead

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Re: Inverse filter for white windows
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2014, 04:39:37 PM »
Ok, the registry key I posted was incorrect.  The correct key is
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Colors\Window

I changed it and logged off, then back on.  It didn't seem to have the desired effect in chromium though.  But notepad and EditPad Lite use it.  For what it's worth.  :)