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View Full Version : Black background question-- is this a tradition with you, or something else?



travismh
March 22nd, 2008, 12:00 AM
I don't if this is the right thread for this question, but it is addressed to programmers.

Anyway, I read an intresting article about black backgrounds conversing energy, though some parties insist this is not the case for LCD monitors.

I notice that whenever I view something in its Alpha state ( software app, or a DE for example) the pic shows the computer screen of what's being programmed, and for the most part it has a black background, like this:

http://www.xmonad.org/images/xmonad_on_tv.jpg

So why do programmers perfer a black background, as suppose to a lighter hue? Right now, I have a black background, and I like it, though I certainly don't want to go blind, if this may be the case.

I think the answer to this question may be tradition, since monitors dating before 2000 were CRT, and conversed more energy with a darker background.

kerry_s
March 22nd, 2008, 12:10 AM
actually it saves some resources. on mine i save about 8mb not having a pic for a background. it doesn't have to be black though any solid color will do, but black just makes it easier to see the foreground from the background and draws you to the top application.

ps: i only have 256mb ram, so i prefer as much resources as i can save go to applications, instead of looks. :)

LaRoza
March 22nd, 2008, 12:13 AM
I use a black background, and do not use colours in my themes

http://img167.imageshack.us/img167/4305/pantallazomj0.th.png (http://img167.imageshack.us/my.php?image=pantallazomj0.png)

I just like colourlessness, I don't know about others.

(Yes, that is the DOS theme for Opera)

Fluxbox:
http://xs.to/xs.php?h=xs222&d=07515&f=fluxbox.png

Vista:
http://xs.to/xs.php?h=xs222&d=07515&f=vistaDesktop.png

Can+~
March 22nd, 2008, 12:23 AM
I like having something to look at sometimes. But I usually prefer a background with simple colors, as the leaf in the pic I took, which is mostly Green.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v517/CanXp/candesk03.jpg

slavik
March 22nd, 2008, 12:41 AM
simple: it's easier to code in the dark, less light. we (geeks) don't like light. why do you think we are pale? ;)

ruy_lopez
March 22nd, 2008, 12:50 AM
I think the black background is a throwback to the VT100 terminal (http://vt100.net/docs/vt100-ug/figure1-1.html).

xterm emulates the VT100, and other terminals.

The first thing I do after installing a new system is set up an xterm (custom application launcher), using these properties.



xterm -ls -bc -sb -sl 10000 -fn 7x13 -bg black -fg green -geometry 100x40 &


There's no other terminal that scrolls like an xterm.

EDIT: http://img149.imageshack.us/img149/8500/screen1fn2.th.png (http://img149.imageshack.us/my.php?image=screen1fn2.png)

travismh
March 22nd, 2008, 01:04 AM
I have a 'DOS theme' and I like it, I find it to be a code friendly scheme.

It's nice to get into a programmer's frame of mind now and again.

lnostdal
March 22nd, 2008, 01:57 AM
i like black also .. white fries my eyes .. here is a screenshot:

http://laptop.nostdal.org/~lars/screenshot.png

..i'm running xinerama .. über-cool =) .. edit: the left screen is smaller than the right one .. that is why the bottom of the left-hand part of the screenshot looks weird

Can+~
March 22nd, 2008, 01:59 AM
White fonts over black backgrounds is usually better for long sessions looking at a screen, it reduces the amount of light entering your eyes.

Just do this experiment:
if you have compiz fusion running, there's a plugin that inverts colors (Super + M/N), check out a normal application, and then swap the colors, your eyes immediately feel the effect, with a brief period of adjustment.

For the background of the desktop, I usually don't care, as I usually don't navigate to it, I use gnome-do to open stuff (great application). I only care it's dark enough, so the white letters of the icons names are visible.

LaRoza
March 22nd, 2008, 02:13 AM
I realize that this thread doesn't really belong in the PT, but it is addressing programmers, so I am leaving it here.

Here is my terminal, in case anyone is that interested :-) h

http://img404.imageshack.us/img404/2230/terminalbr4.th.png (http://img404.imageshack.us/my.php?image=terminalbr4.png)

pmasiar
March 22nd, 2008, 03:08 AM
It also depends on font. Some fonts are designed to be dark on light background, and look badly otherwise.

Also, it depends on your background light: If you work in dark basement and read everything online, dark paper is better. But if you are in lighted cubicle and read lots of info from papers around, light background makes less changes for your eyes.

travismh
March 22nd, 2008, 03:10 AM
i like black also .. white fries my eyes .. here is a screenshot:

http://laptop.nostdal.org/~lars/screenshot.png

..i'm running xinerama .. über-cool =) .. edit: the left screen is smaller than the right one .. that is why the bottom of the left-hand part of the screenshot looks weird


Hmm... I guess this brings me to another question-- do programmers prefer a non gui vs. a gui environment? To eloborate, Ratpoison or Ion to using a mouse.

I notice you have your CV in your sig, so I'd think it would be improtant for to use a mouse user interface in order to Q & A your work for the client. Am I wrong? After all, your compiling something that would be more or less used with a mouse.

LaRoza
March 22nd, 2008, 03:13 AM
Hmm... I guess this brings me to another question-- do programmers prefer a non gui vs. a gui environment? To eloborate, Ratpoison to using a mouse.

I notice you have your CV in your sig, so I'd think it would be improtant for to use a mouse user interface in order to Q & A your work for the client. Am I wrong? After all, your compiling something that would be more or less used with a mouse.

I prefer the simplest and quickest solution.

This means the least movement.

Using Vim, the terminal, and mc, I can do things way faster than I can do with a mouse.

Of course, I use a mouse for somethings, but I like to keep my hands relatively static.

I have never compiled something using a mouse...I always use scripts and commands to do that. I don't know how I would compile with a mouse.

(I also use Gedit with the terminal plugin and the directoy panel so I don't have to use other apps when I use that)

mssever
March 22nd, 2008, 03:13 AM
I don't like dark themes for Gnome and friends, but setting the terminal colors to anything other than light grey on black ought to be illegal. :)

After an hours-long programming session, light backgrounds can be tiring on the eyes.


I use a black background, and do not use colours in my themes

http://img167.imageshack.us/img167/4305/pantallazomj0.th.png (http://img167.imageshack.us/my.php?image=pantallazomj0.png)


I see you use almost as many browser tabs as I do!

LaRoza
March 22nd, 2008, 03:17 AM
I don't like dark themes for Gnome and friends, but setting the terminal colors to anything other than light grey on black ought to be illegal. :)

After an hours-long programming session, light backgrounds can be tiring on the eyes.

I see you use almost as many browser tabs as I do!

I like only dark themes, or at least colourless.

I have to prune the tabs occasionally. When it gets impossible to select them because the close button is almost the same size, it is very difficult to select a tab.

mssever
March 22nd, 2008, 03:23 AM
do programmers prefer a non gui vs. a gui environment?

Personally, I use the shell extensively, especially for file management and script stuff (I've written a number of scripts that automate the tasks I frequently perform; they're all CLI).

For programming, I mostly use vim. For extended programming sessions--particularly if I'm forced to use a typing-intensive language such as PHP--I use a GUI editor (currently gedit), because I like to do some things in a GUI way.

However, despite the fact that I use the shell a lot, I still run GNOME on my laptop and IceWM on my desktop. That way I have both worlds available.

Wybiral
March 22nd, 2008, 03:31 AM
I actually prefer my text editor to be nice and bright, and I keep all of my settings almost exactly like the come on Ubuntu (gnome).

ruy_lopez
March 22nd, 2008, 03:33 AM
For extended programming sessions--particularly if I'm forced to use a typing-intensive language such as PHP--I use a GUI editor (currently gedit)

Vim doesn't handle PHP at all well. Rather than use a different editor, I tend to avoid PHP altogether.

There's probably a plugin or something, but I don't miss PHP.

LaRoza
March 22nd, 2008, 03:35 AM
I actually prefer my text editor to be nice and bright, and I keep all of my settings almost exactly like the come on Ubuntu (gnome).

Freak.

Wybiral
March 22nd, 2008, 04:06 AM
Freak.

lol. Dark colors are depressing. I don't change the Ubuntu look because it makes it easier to just install somewhere or run the LiveCD without having to adjust.

LaRoza
March 22nd, 2008, 04:08 AM
lol. Dark colors are depressing. I don't change the Ubuntu look because it makes it easier to just install somewhere or run the LiveCD without having to adjust.

I wear all black, and have for 5 years. No colour, at all. (Graduation gown didn't count)

I just save my home directory, and plop it in new setups to get all my settings.

Wybiral
March 22nd, 2008, 04:11 AM
I wear all black, and have for 5 years. No colour, at all. (Graduation gown didn't count)

I just save my home directory, and plop it in new setups to get all my settings.

That's pretty intense. Any particular reason, or you just don't like color / light?

LaRoza
March 22nd, 2008, 04:12 AM
That's pretty intense. Any particular reason, or you just don't like color / light?

Don't like anything to be different, and black is black.

onshiv
March 22nd, 2008, 04:14 AM
...

travismh
March 22nd, 2008, 04:22 AM
Don't like anything to be different, and black is black.


Have you tried the CDE theme? It uses a pale gray background, an old Solaris environment.

LaRoza
March 22nd, 2008, 04:25 AM
Have you tried the CDE theme? It uses a pale gray background, an old Solaris environment.

I use my own theme now, background is black, text is white/black, and everything else is #888888.

Fbot1
March 22nd, 2008, 04:52 AM
Black backgrounds make me sleepy.

lnostdal
March 22nd, 2008, 05:14 AM
Hmm... I guess this brings me to another question-- do programmers prefer a non gui vs. a gui environment? To eloborate, Ratpoison or Ion to using a mouse.


i prefer whatever works and doesn't get in my way .. a tiling window-manager would probably suit me(#1), but i don't mind doing a bit of "manual labour" with standard WMs after a reboot since my PC is running mostly 24/7 anyway .. (i set things up, and it stays up)



I notice you have your CV in your sig, so I'd think it would be improtant for to use a mouse user interface in order to Q & A your work for the client. Am I wrong? After all, your compiling something that would be more or less used with a mouse.


well the client uses whatever he likes .. it's not like adding keyboard short-cuts to things automatically removes the mouse-support .. =)

when i develop web-applications it is easy for him to try things out directly on his own pc and in his own environment/browser/whatever (#2)

..for "normal desktop applications", remote desktop software works great .. it's the same way; the app. is brought to the clients environment and he gets to use/try/test it the way he wants and is familiar with


#1: it's one of those things i keep thinking i should try but never have the time to actually do

#2: i keep two versions of my app. running .. one development version, and one "stable" version .. the client has access to both, but only one of them is up at (almost) all times

TreeFinger
March 22nd, 2008, 05:15 AM
I think the black background is a throwback to the VT100 terminal (http://vt100.net/docs/vt100-ug/figure1-1.html).

xterm emulates the VT100, and other terminals.

The first thing I do after installing a new system is set up an xterm (custom application launcher), using these properties.



xterm -ls -bc -sb -sl 10000 -fn 7x13 -bg black -fg green -geometry 100x40 &


There's no other terminal that scrolls like an xterm.

EDIT: http://img149.imageshack.us/img149/8500/screen1fn2.th.png (http://img149.imageshack.us/my.php?image=screen1fn2.png)

how did you setup your vim?

pmasiar
March 22nd, 2008, 05:48 AM
Of course, I use a mouse for somethings, but I like to keep my hands relatively static.

If $DEITY wanted us to use mouse, we would have instead of fingers USB interface :-)

LaRoza
March 22nd, 2008, 05:58 AM
If $DEITY wanted us to use mouse, we would have instead of fingers USB interface :-)

That would be so convenient... I would wait until USB 3 comes out, it should be soon.

(Ironically, my avatar makes it seem more possible...)

ruy_lopez
March 22nd, 2008, 10:26 AM
how did you setup your vim?

I edited a colorscheme file. They are usually located in /usr/share/vim/vim70/colors/.

Then I added the new colorscheme to .vimrc:


colorscheme newcolorscheme


A useful perl script (http://www.vim.org/scripts/script.php?script_id=1349) for debugging colors.

mssever
March 22nd, 2008, 11:28 PM
Vim doesn't handle PHP at all well. Rather than use a different editor, I tend to avoid PHP altogether.

There's probably a plugin or something, but I don't miss PHP.This is why I mentioned being forced to write PHP. I don't do it by choice, either.