Slash Boxes
NOTE: use Perl; is on undef hiatus. You can read content, but you can't post it. More info will be forthcoming forthcomingly.

All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

use Perl Log In

Log In

[ Create a new account ]

acme (189)

  (email not shown publicly)

Leon Brocard (aka acme) is an orange-loving Perl eurohacker with many varied contributions to the Perl community, including the GraphViz module on the CPAN. YAPC::Europe was all his fault. He is still looking for a Perl Monger group he can start which begins with the letter 'D'.

Journal of acme (189)

Monday September 26, 2005
01:42 PM

Black on white

[ #26891 ]
There was an interesting thread on hates-software about text and colours. For the past few years, whenever I start up a terminal application for the first time I spend a few minutes setting it to old-school green text on black background. Now, I'm all for being 31337, but I noticed that my paper, my web browser and my text editor were all black on white, so I configured my terminal that way as an experiment. I didn't go crazy, so it's staying black on white. What colours do you use in your terminals?
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
More | Login | Reply
Loading... please wait.
  • I've tried various combinations, but in the end I prefer black on white.
  • After much experimentation, including long periods of green- and yellow- on black, I've settled on a particular shade of orange.
  • I've preferred black text on a white background ever since I started running X.

    I use different (pale) background colours for some windows which are SSH'd into production or staging servers.
  • White on darkened transparent.
  • At my place of work, the convention is to use red for production and yellow for staging. That way, you can instantly tell the type of box you're connected to.

    For development work, green on black or light blue on black.

    For sessions on staging servers, yellow on black.

    For sessions on production servers, red on black.

    For sessions on backup servers orange on black.

    • Similar for me, except that wonder of wonders, I got to name all the boxes this time around (for my company).

      So we have servers called "red", "orange", "green", "blue" (so far). For each server I have $colour on black.

      It's neato :)

      It's saved at least 3 accidental running of things on the wrong machine just in the last 3 months
    • At least, you can tell which box you've connected to if you're not colorblind.

      It's still a neat idea though, even if green and yellow or red and orange may be too subtle. Do you have something on the server side that changes the colors, do you have different XTerm shortcuts that connect to the appropriate boxes, or do you do something else?

      • Colorblindness would be a problem. Those who are partially colorblind would have to pick colors they are able to differentiate between. Those who are completely colorblind could try white on black for one system, black on white for another, black on grey for a third, etc.

        Do you have something on the server side that changes the colors, do you have different XTerm shortcuts that connect to the appropriate boxes, or do you do something else?

        I use different shortcuts.

  • The difference between a black-on-white terminal and a black-on-white book is that the terminal is on a luminescent screen. A white piece of paper is just going to reflect light from the room, but a white screen is going to shine at you with all its might.

    I'd rather just have as little light is required to make the text legible.
  • I agree with rjbs []. Reducing the white that is bombarding you from your monitor can help with eye strain. I've configured most of my editors to black on grey (like the grey that use.perl defaults to). Except at home, where I usually code at night, so I leave it white on black. Easier for the eyes to focus:)
    • I've used navy blue on grey for a long time for my editor and such. It's as kelan and rjbs say, it's just much easier on the eyes.

      For my terminal, i use tunsten (dark grey/black) on a darker yellow. I found it the most legible, while still being able to use a colour display -- even the blue and green display well on it, as opposed to say, a black background.

  • White on very very dark gray (so I can still see the drop shadows and tell if windows are ontop of one another)

    The real question is what colour do you use in your editor? I use yellow (and other colours for highlighting) on a dark blue, which is a holdover from all those years I coded BASIC on my Amstrad CPC.

  • It happened the same to me. When I worked on Linux everything was white or lightgrey on black, terminals, emacs, the mail client, etc. But since I bought the Mac three years ago, I don't know, it just felt wrong. As you say everything else is black on white, and looks pleasant, so that white on black terminal and editor were kind of out of context, so I switched to black on white.
  • The first thing I do when I get a new machine is move the brightness down from the usual default of throw-enough-photons-to-burn-out-my-eyes that most machines seem to ship with.

    After that, and a decent refresh rate, I've found black on white works best for me.
  • I have found that black on #fffff0 works best for me. Good contrast, but easier on the eyes than the usual bright white.