Background color for your editor
Since Joel's moved into his new office, there's been discussion of the best office environment and lighting. What about the best background color to use when editing your code?
I use white on my CRT and black on my LCD. I'm not expert, but that seemed the easiest on my eyes.
christopher baus (tahoe, nv)
I remember reading something about how the blue frequencies of light are the easiest on the eyes.
Green is the easiest color on your eyes...
When I first started computing it was amber on black. Very very clear compare to the color VGA and CGA monitors of the day. Once I had my hand on commercial unix workstations I fell in love with white (or gold, which is somewhat bright yellow) on black consoles using fixed width Lucida console 9point fonts (there are a few other very delicious typefaces for coding, but I can't recall their names). The pumpkin theme is pretty cool once Windows 98 came around, and eventually everyone got used to courier new fixed width black on white even though you'll never get them to admit it.
If there's anything to add it would be that some of us really really miss the days when there's nothing but text on your screen (but without taking away the benefits of a mouse) and we miss the days when what's running in memory is actually doing something useful, if you run Linux now days to code you might want to check out some minimal windows managers that can help you achieve this. I used to configure FVWM to give me console, emacs, and netscape, su and logout (right click anywhere) and a 4 pixel border around windows (without title bar) being the only thing you see on the screen besides a background picture. There are actually new window managers that can fit windows into seamless frames (so you never waste any space, even if you have space to waste) too, check those out too. On windows I try to find tabbed windowed versions of software I use a lot (IE, Explorer, EditPlus).
Speaking of tabbed windows. I think firebird's tabbed browsing is pretty cool, once you get your bookmarks set up correctly...
christopher baus (tahoe, nv)
From a usability perspective, I believe the best for on-screen reading is black text on a light gray background. There is sufficient contrast, but not so much glare (and eye-strain) as comes from reading black on white.
I've been using a blue background ever since Turbo Pascal... old habits die hard I guess.
Greg Hurlman (www.squaretwo.net)
I really like the WinXP (or NT) command prompt. I just setup a shortcut to the program in my start menu with the colors, buffer and more importantly full screen enabled. When I spend a lot of time using telnet, I go full screen and all is well with the world.
Slightly less black so there isn't a glare. Almost dark dirt colored.
Can't comment on the best colour for editor panes (black text on white seems to work just fine for me), but I do know the best typeface to use:
+1 for Andale Mono. It rocks.
Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
"Green is the easiest color on your eyes..."
FWIW, the eye perceives the greatest contrast between black and yellow. (Check out the colors of the really important road signs...)
Brief used white text on dark blue, at least the way I configured it. Borland/Turbo C/C++ used yellow text on a dark blue background, ditto.
Mitch & Murray (from downtown)
I love the dark blue color scheme made famous by Borland Turbo C++
I like Monaco, which Andale is a shabby knock off of.
-1 for the Andale Mono font.
Another C# developer
Hint: google for 'Monaco.ttf'
Another C# developer
I prefer Lucida Console for program code, and Georgia for text pages such as JoS. And the color's black on white which is optimal for a no-flicker LCD screen in a well-lit room.
green-on-black for xterms/command windows/code editors, black on white for word processors (using CRT monitor). The different schemes seem to help me stay focused longer, not to mention helping keep track of a cluttered desktop.
White on blue does it for me. A throwback to the basic editor on the Archi, I know.
I do most development on the console of my laptop -- the text-mode 25x80 white on black screen...
I use an off-white yellowish color #FAF8ED. I find it to be much easier on the eyes since it doesn't "glow" as much as white. All the usual colors used for syntax highlighting (black, blue, green, dark-gray) still show with good contrast.
I use VS.NET and VS6.0. Am I not able to configure my background color or fonts? I can't find anywhere where I can edit them. :(
For Visual Studio, Tools|Options is what you need. Look for the 'Format' tab (VC6) or section (Dot Net).
If you want a monospace font for programming, go here:
The new displays on the Space Shuttle will be dark navy blue background with light gray for most of the text. Apparently, this is currently the scheme of choice for the aerospace industry. Take a look as you walk past the cockpit of a new plane next time you fly.
I prefer white or bright colours on a black background.
I'm always open to new ideas, so I decided to try the other type faces mentioned in this thread that I hadn't seen before (Monaco and I think someone mentioned ProFont too).
Does anybody know the name of the code font used by the new oreilly books?
BTW, the vt100 font (at size 11) bundled with SecureCRT is nice for coding too.
There's various color theme for vim available at www.vim.org that you can download.
So that font was called "TheSans Mono Condensed"
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